Bob Bradley: Swansea City must deliver at home
17th December 2016
Bob Bradley admits Swansea City must deliver in two crunch games at the Liberty after they went down 3-0 on a sorry afternoon at Middlesbrough.
The Swans will be second-bottom of the Premier League - they are ahead of Hull City on goal difference - over Christmas after a miserable Riverside reverse.
And Bradley admits the Boro defeat, coupled with a midweek loss at West Brom, has put the pressure on his team ahead of back-to-back home fixtures against West Ham United and Bournemouth.
"Up until today we have done well in the games against the teams who are right around us in the table," said the Swans manager.
"We talked about the importance of the games against Crystal Palace and Sunderland, but for the first time here we didn't take care of business (against a direct rival).
"That's going to be important, but now we have to look to our next two matches and try to win those. They are going to be key for us."
Bradley's side fell behind in the 18th minute when Adam Clayton crossed from the left and Alvaro Negredo finished sweetly.
It was 2-0 on 29 minutes when Negredo scored from the spot after Jordi Amat brought down Adam Forshaw, and Boro wrapped up the win when Marten de Roon volleyed home on 58 minutes.
The Swans came close to finding the target in the closing stages, and were unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty when de Roon bundled into Gylfi Sigurdsson just as he prepared to shoot.
But by then their fate was sealed.
"It's the same story. We started okay. We didn't create any big chances but we felt the energy and concentration were good," Bradley added.
"Then, on their first look at goal, we go behind. We have talked about our ability to hold things together, then the second goal comes in a strange way.
"There was a mix-up about whose throw it is - our players thought it was ours - then they take it quickly and it's a penalty.
"We tried to push back in the second half. There were some moments of decent football but then they score a goal which was similar to the ones we conceded at West Brom.
"If you put yourselves in the position we did, it's always going to be hard to get back."
Bradley remains confident that despite the fact that they remain in the relegation places, the Swans can pull clear of danger after Christmas.
"That's the challenge - that's the job," he said.
"When a team has put itself in a bad spot, everybody has to stick together and fight. That's what we'll do."