Bob Bradley: Swansea City must back up Sunderland win
13th December 2016
Bob Bradley has challenged his players to prove they are progressing by backing up victory over Sunderland with another result at West Brom.
The Swans have taken seven points from their last four Premier League games after easing past the Black Cats over the weekend.
Bradley reckons his team gave a glimpse of what they are about during the Sunderland triumph.
And now he has called for another big performance against a West Brom side who have made an impressive start to the season under Tony Pulis.
"The challenge of the week for us is to build on a good game, to turn that into another good effort and another win," said the Swans manager.
"We are trying to put a run together, and these are very important parts of growing as a team.
"Even after the Sunderland game, as much as we were satisfied with a lot of what we did, we were already thinking about how we could take the good parts of that performance and move them forward to make sure they continue at West Brom."
Bradley revealed the Swans will again be without Ki Sung-Yueng and Federico Fernandez as both players continue their recoveries from toe injuries.
But there are no fresh fitness concerns after the Sunderland success, which has lifted the mood in the Swans camp.
"I think we all felt good because there were parts of that game we were really pleased with," Bradley added.
"The overall structure of the team was good and the distance between the lines was good.
"We had periods where we moved the ball faster, and when we lost the ball our structure meant that we were able to win it back.
"There were areas that need attention, like in any game, but the game was a reward for the response and the good work done after Tottenham.
"You could tell there was a good sense of satisfaction because not only was the result good, but the performance gave an idea of what we are trying to be.
"It was a little closer to the identity that we think we can be all about. That doesn't mean the work stops - we have to continue - but it means we have had a better week."
Bradley acknowledges that despite the Sunderland boost, the Swans will face a significant test against eighth-placed West Brom.
The Baggies had a mixed start to the season, but soared up the table thanks to a run of three wins and a draw in four games prior to last weekend's narrow defeat at Chelsea.
"They are a good solid team," Bradley said. "You are all familiar with the work that Tony Pulis does.
"His teams are hard to break down, they are direct and they can be physical.
"His team has a lot of very tall guys and they utilise that with some direct play, while it also gives them good match-ups at set-pieces.
"They are impressive in terms of team shape and how they go about their business in every game they play.
"They do a lot of things well, and we will have to do the same if we are going to get a result there."
Bradley on a visit from Jason Levien and Stephen Kaplan
"It's great for them to be here. They are both very bright men - their success in different ventures speaks for itself.
"They come here and they ask good questions. They challenge you.
"They talk about things they have seen and they want to know how we can get better.
"The discussions cover every part of the operation. They look into all the ways we can improve ourselves as a football club. They are on top of every detail."
Bradley on transfer plans
"We have different names on the table. We have discussions about which players will fit best and which are most likely to happen.
"We have done our research. (Head of scouting) David Leadbeater and his staff have brought in really good information from watching players and then we have the statistical data.
"There's also work to find out about the character of the players. At the moment I think we are looking at some interesting possibilities.
"We will keep our fingers crossed that we can make something happen."
Bradley on potential interest in Gylfi Sigurdsson
"He has been terrific for us. I am sure there many clubs taking notice, but from our standpoint we consider him to be very important as we move forward.
"We are confident that he is going to be part of our squad in the second half of the season and beyond.
"For us to improve in the longer-term, a player like Gylfi is a vital part of our vision."
Bradley on rotating his squad during the festive season
"That's probably the most difficult part of being a manager. Part of you says that to continue improving, you have to give the same players a chance.
"But you also have to have discussions about how everyone is physically.
"We are going to count on different people on different days, so the whole squad is important."