Sport Soccer

Sunday 25 August 2019

Paul Clement worried as Swansea owner watches drab defeat at Burnley

Swansea manager Paul Clement has plenty to ponder
Swansea manager Paul Clement has plenty to ponder

Paul Clement admitted he is "concerned" about Swansea's perilous position, just as his own was cast into fresh doubt in front of the club's majority shareholder Steve Kaplan.

Clement's side remained rooted in the relegation zone after goals from their former midfielder, Jack Cork, and Ashley Barnes saw them crash to a 2-0 defeat at Burnley.

Kaplan, the American businessman who led a takeover last July, was in attendance at Turf Moor and though the trip was long planned he cannot have been impressed by the listless manner of their successive Premier League loss.

Clement revealed Kaplan had visited the dressing room prior to kick-off and expected to be talking to him again soon.

A small section of away fans made it clear they wanted that meeting to Clement's last as Swansea manager and he shared their frustration, if not their conclusion.

"Clearly he's not going to be happy with the performance or the results, which I'm not, the technical staff are not and the players are not," he said of Kaplan.

"Concerned? Yeah, of course. I'd be stupid if I wasn't. I'm concerned about the level of performance, concerned about our position in the table, about how many goals we've scored or haven't scored.

"If they (the owners) ever felt there was someone that can get better out of this team and these players than I can, that's their right to do that.

"But I have no doubt about my own ability and the ability of these players and together we have to work through difficult times."

If there was any cause for optimism on a dispiriting afternoon for his side, it came in the shape of opposite number Sean Dyche.

Burnley's decision-makers kept faith with him after the club's relegation in 2015 and were rewarded with immediate promotion and continuous on-field growth ever since.

"Sean's done a very good job here, even when the team got relegated back to the Championship the owners here felt they had the right manager and it proved the correct thing," noted Clement.

The Clarets boss is making the most of the good times, having guided the club to seventh in the table on the back of three top-flight wins in a row for the first time 42 years.

The fact that Cork got the ball rolling may have been a bitter pill for Clement, who let him leave for £10million in the summer, but Dyche was delighted.

Cork made his England debut against Germany last week and has now netted twice in 12 games for Burnley - the same number he managed in two-and-a-half years with the Swans.

"Corky...what a couple of weeks he's had," said Dyche.

"He deserved his goal, it was brilliant to see. I love to see my midfielders driving into the box. Like Bryan Robson, flying into the box and heading it in, you don't see that so often now and it's great to see.

"This is to be enjoyed, I'll have my little window of about an hour before I start preparing for the next game."

PA Media

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