Bartley's out to impress
17th January 2013
Kyle Bartley hopes to have won himself more plaudits despite making a losing return to his former stomping ground Arsenal in the FA Cup.
The 21-year-old made only his third appearance since joining the Swans last summer from the Gunners in Wednesday night's third-round replay loss at The Emirates Stadium.
It was Bartley's second appearance since August, with injury preventing the centre-back from making the early impact he had hoped since his £1million move in August.
After a hugely impressive performance against Arsenal in the original cup tie that ended 2-2 at the Liberty, Bartley again caught the eye with a solid display in the Swans defence in North London and almost gave the visitors a shock lead when his header rebounded off the crossbar in the first half.
And he hopes to have impressed Swans boss Michael Laudrup as he looks to get more game-time.
"I'm happy to be back on the field playing again and doing what I love to do," said Bartley.
"I'm not 100 per cent match fit. It's my second game in about five months, but I think I'll get better with more minutes.
"The aim for me is to work hard and force my way into the team."
He added: "It would have been great to have scored here. I snuck in at the back post and Wayne (Routledge) has picked me out with a great ball, but unfortunately my header hit the bar.
"It was exactly the same as in the game back at the Liberty, where I hit the bar, so it wasn't to be. But I'm happy I'm getting myself in those positions and on the end of the opportunities."
The cup tie was settled by a Jack Wilshere strike four minutes from time, with the Swans having to deal with heavy pressure from the Gunners.
Dwight Tiendalli twice cleared off the line to deny Olivier Giroud while Danny Graham stopped Theo Walcott's effort from breaking the deadlock and Leon Britton also headed off his own goal-line.
Michel Vorm made a number of fine saves to keep out Arsenal, who also hit the post in the second half during their pursuit of a winner.
And, despite conceding late on, Bartley feels the Swans can take heart from the way they defended.
"I think Arsenal were the better side on the day," admitted Bartley. "They had a lot of chances, we had to defend very strongly as a team, but they got the winner late on.
"In the second half they had a lot of the ball and we were pinned back.
"But it sums up the team spirit we have here that it's not just the defenders clearing off the line, we also saw the midfield and strikers putting their bodies on the line to keep them from scoring on a number of occasions.
"I thought we had defended well and could maybe have pinched a goal, but they deserved their win."
Watch Kyle's full interview now on Swans Player by clicking HERE
Don't forget, we have a Swans Player special offer on now - subscribe now until August for just £18.99. Find out more HERE