Bob Bradley: Swansea City can be a really good team
15th October 2016
Bob Bradley is convinced Swansea City have "a chance to become a really good team" after the first game of his reign ended in a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal.
The Swans boss was frustrated by a result which means his new club have now taken just one point from the last 21 on offer in the Premier League.
But Bradley saw enough in a thrilling contest at the Emirates to persuade him that the Swans can enjoy a good season.
"At the end I am disappointed because we lost," Bradley conceded.
"But I think the feeling amongst the players is that we have had a good week's training and if we can take the starting points we saw today and keep going 30 more times, there's a chance to become a really good team.
"Obviously if you do that, you are going to take points.
"I don't expect our fans to be satisfied after that game, but maybe, like me, they saw a few things today they liked.
"That doesn't mean we get ahead of ourselves, because in any league you have to work hard to get better.
"But I like this group of players. It's been really nice to come in and see their response.
"There's not one of us who will walk out happy today - no chance - but I think we can still look at some of what happened on the field and say that's what we need to be about.
"That's the kind of football we can play and that's the kind of mentality we can build on."
Bradley saw his new side start the game slowly, and Arsenal went ahead on 26 minutes when Jordi Amat failed to clear and Theo Walcott hooked home from close range.
The England wideman doubled the home side's lead seven minutes later when the Swans could not deal with Santi Cazorla's corner.
But Bradley's men were back in the game before half-time after Granit Xhaka gifted possession to Gylfi Sigurdsson and the Icelander curled beyond Petr Cech from 20 yards.
Arsenal restored their two-goal lead early in the second period when Mesut Ozil volleyed in from Alexis Sanchez's cross, but the Swans responded again.
After speeding past Nacho Monreal, the impressive Mo Barrow pulled back for substitute Borja to sweep in his first Swans goal from close range.
The visitors pushed hard for a leveller late on, and their cause was helped when Xhaka was shown a straight red card for a swipe at Barrow.
But after Leroy Fer and Fede Fernandez saw headers saved, Arsenal came closest to scoring again as Walcott twice struck the woodwork in the dying minutes.
"I didn't like our start," Bradley said. "We were slow to step out and we gave them too much space, and Arsenal are a team who will play through the lines if you let them.
"That coincided with two poor goals from our point of view, but somewhere in there we also started to play with more confidence and our tempo picked up.
"Going in at half-time having made it 2-1, we were pretty positive. We said we'd shown them a bit too much respect but we've also shown we can play in the match.
"They made it 3-1 with a great goal from their point of view but one where we slow to push out, so I didn't like that.
"But we kept going. We made it 3-2 and we might have got something out of the game."
The Swans will now look to end a winless Premier League run which stretches back to the opening day of the season when they host Watford next weekend.
"I know that next week's game will be a different kind of game to this," Bradley said.
"At home of course there will be more pressure on us because of the stretch of results we are in."
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger breathed a sigh of relief after watching his side continue an unbeaten sequence which goes back to the first day of 2016-17.
"What looked like it might be a comfortable afternoon finished in a very uncomfortable way," he said.
"At 2-0 maybe we lost a bit of focus, and at 3-1 maybe the same again.
"In the end we just got over the line because we pulled together with spirit until the end."