Monday 16 July 2018

Carvalhal goes on the attack – and Swansea cook up a win

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is striving to change the Clarets’ losing habit.

Swansea City v Burnley – Premier League – Liberty Stadium
Swansea City v Burnley – Premier League – Liberty Stadium

By Phil Blanche

Carlos Carvalhal felt his bold approach paid off as Swansea continued their Premier League revival with a 1-0 home victory over Burnley.

South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng struck eight minutes from time – his first goal since May 2016 – to lift Swansea to 15th place, two points above the relegation zone.

Ki’s winner came after Carvalhal had made two attacking second-half substitutions with Andre Ayew, making his second Swansea debut after rejoining the club from West Ham on transfer deadline day, and Tammy Abraham sent on to make the difference.

“We have an expression in Portugal at times like we had in the second half,” Swansea manager Carvalhal said. “We say it was time to put all the meat on the barbeque.

“We did that to try to win – and we got the three points. But I felt we deserved it against a strong team and I am very proud of my players.

“Burnley are a difficult team to beat, the third best defensive team in the competition, so it was not easy to score.

“But in the second half, my players want to win a lot – and we tried to help them do that with the players we put on.”

Swansea have now won more points, 14, in Carvalhal’s seven games in charge than the 13 his predecessor Paul Clement collected in 20 matches.

It is a remarkable revival that has seen Swansea, bottom of the table and five points adrift of safety when Carvalhal took over in late December, climb clear of the relegation zone.

“When we arrived we were in the deep ocean,” Carvalhal said. “It was very deep and dark. We saw no fishes.

“We won some games, to put our noses out of the water – it was the first time we’d smelled the fresh air.

“Now, in this moment, we have started swimming and we can now go to the coast.

“But we must continue to swim to reach the coastline.”

Burnley have now gone 10 games without a victory – the longest winless run in the Premier League.

The Clarets had shaded a drab first half, but it was Swansea who looked the more probable winners as the game developed.

“The margins are tight and you have to find a way of getting on the right side of it,” Burnley boss Sean Dyche said.

“Even at the start of the season, when we were going so well, I said they were tight games.

“I have said to the players we’re not far away. We’ve got to get players back fit, that will allow this squad to take stock and breathe again.

“But it’s our job to correct the run and my job as manager to do so.”

Press Association

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