Wednesday 24 January 2018

Jack Cork backs Swansea to soar in next season's Premier League

Jack Cork feels Swansea have the quality to enjoy a far better Premier League campaign next season
Jack Cork feels Swansea have the quality to enjoy a far better Premier League campaign next season

Jack Cork insists Swansea have the quality to finish in the top half of the Premier League next term.

Swansea close a season of turmoil at home to West Brom on Sunday, knowing they can look forward to a seventh Premier League campaign in August.

They were bottom of the table with only 12 points at the halfway stage before Paul Clement - their third manager of the season - steered them to safety last weekend before the final round of fixtures.

Swansea would sit eighth in the table based on results in 2017 alone, and that is the position in which they finished two years ago after Cork joined the club from Southampton.

"I have been relegated before when I was with Burnley, but I was only on loan and it is different when you are part of a team," Cork said.

"I would say it's been my most difficult season because we knew we were capable of so much better.

"It was dangerous at times and hopefully it will not happen again.

"We have got the quality to do as well as before if we can keep hold of the players we have got.

"But the key is to be consistent. We have had too many patches this season where it has not been right and it has damaged confidence."

Cork has made 80 league appearances in two-and-a-half years at Swansea and has regularly led the side this term in Leon Britton's absence.

But he admits senior players felt the pressure when Swansea struggled badly under F rancesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley in the first half of the season.

"It's been the same for 'Britts' (Britton) and Angel (Rangel), as senior players you do find that responsibility lies with you," Cork said.

"People say, 'What's happening?', and it's hard to come up with the answers.

"We weren't playing very well and we didn't have the organisation.

"But the new manager got us really organised and took the pressure off some of the players.

"He has experience at working at top clubs and when he passes on the confidence he has in us it works."

Clement has worked wonders since swapping life as Carlo Ancelotti's number two at Bayern Munich for the Swansea hot-seat.

Swansea have taken 26 points from 18 games under Clement and could finish 15th in the final league standings if they beat West Brom and other results go their way.

"We're in a position now where we could possibly go above Burnley and Watford on Sunday," Cork said.

"That would be something special considering where we were in January.

"Everyone has been looking at us and saying how badly we've done.

"But if we can get above Burnley and Watford, who have been getting all right reviews, then it would be a good way to finish."

Press Association

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