Tuesday 16 October 2018

Clement frustrated as Swansea hit rock-bottom

Stoke City 2 Swansea City 1

Swansea City manager Paul Clement. Photo: Reuters
Swansea City manager Paul Clement. Photo: Reuters

Paul Clement admitted "toothless" Swansea are where they deserve to be after defeat by Stoke condemned them to bottom spot in the Premier League table.

Wilfried Bony gave the visitors the lead in only the third minute against his former club, but goals from Xherdan Shaqiri and Mame Diouf late in the first half earned Stoke the victory.

Swansea City's Tammy Abraham and Stoke City's Darren Fletcher challenge for the ball. Photo: Reuters
Swansea City's Tammy Abraham and Stoke City's Darren Fletcher challenge for the ball. Photo: Reuters

A fantastic late save from Jack Butland prevented Ryan Shawcross scoring an own goal that would have given Swansea an equaliser, but Clement made no attempt to sugar-coat things.

The Swans boss said: "I believe we've gone bottom of the table today and I can't say that we're unlucky. We've lost 10 games now, it's not been through misfortune. We deserve to be bottom because we're losing too many games, we're not consistent enough through a 90-minute period."

Clement had described this match as a cup final, such was its importance, and the result makes next week's home clash with West Brom absolutely critical.

Clement's comments will increase speculation that the end is near for him, and the Swansea boss insisted, as critical as he has been of his players, he holds himself responsible.

Stoke City's Peter Crouch gets a shot away despite the attentions of Swansea City's Kyle Naughton. Photo: Reuters
Stoke City's Peter Crouch gets a shot away despite the attentions of Swansea City's Kyle Naughton. Photo: Reuters

"It is not me pointing the finger and saying, 'It is his fault, or it is his fault', it is a collective effort," he said. "I cannot win without the players. So I am being more self-critical because I have to be better and get more out of this team. We're a toothless team."

For Stoke boss Mark Hughes, the victory eased any immediate pressure after a poor run and he praised his side for turning the match around.

"It was the worst start we could have possibly made," he said. "A great strike by Wilfy. We had to show courage and character from that point on and just clear our heads. It would have been very easy to feel sorry for ourselves, but I didn't see any evidence of that."

The negative for Hughes was a groin injury for Bruno Martins-Indi.

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