Bob Bradley: Swansea City must show firepower at Stoke
28th October 2016
Bob Bradley has challenged his Swansea City players to prove they have the firepower to climb the Premier League when they face Stoke City on Monday night.
The Swans will come up against their one-time leading marksman Wilfried Bony - not to mention Potters top scorer Joe Allen - at the bet365 Stadium.
And Bradley has urged the club's current crop to show they can deliver in front of goal, just as Bony did during his time at the Liberty.
"I am certainly hopeful that we have the players with enough talent to turn them into big goalscorers for our team," said the Swans manager.
"Borja was an important signing for the club, although is still adjusting to life in a new club and a new league.
"Fernando Llorente has had a bit of an injury so we have not been able to get everything out of him since I came in, but I am hoping we have two dangerous forwards there.
"I also understand we have to get goals from different people and when you look in all directions, there is room for improvement.
"Look at Mo Barrow. We will all feel we are making progress with him when we see him adding more goals.
"Gylfi (Sigurdsson) has shown he can score goals, and Ki Sung-Yueng has scored goals in the past. Overall I thought Ki was pretty solid against Watford, and hopefully that's something to build on.
"We are trying to raise the level across the board."
After a defeat which came with some positives at Arsenal and a goalless draw with Watford where the Swans were the better team, Bradley hopes his third game in charge will bring his first Premier League victory.
But he acknowledges his side will have to handle an impressive Stoke frontline if they are to take all three points in the Potteries.
"Stoke didn't start the season well but they have found their form now," Bradley said.
"They have a player in Xherdan Shaqiri who they rely on, and he has improved having maybe come back late after Euro 2016 and been short of some fitness.
"He is part of a front four who cause problems. Shaqiri finds pockets of space, (Marko) Arnautovic is pretty clever.
"I have seen Joe Allen enough times to know he is a good player. Everybody here knows that, and everybody here knows about Bony.
"Playing against those four requires a good understanding of how you are going to handle things."
Bradley has suggested there is an outside chance of Jefferson Montero returning to action at Stoke after a calf problem, although the home game with Manchester United a week on Sunday may be a more realistic target for his comeback.
Bradley on the Swans' confidence levels
"They are up slightly compared to when I arrived I think. I think the players can see progress. They felt after Watford that the effort was stronger. But now is the time we have to turn the positives into more points, and for sure there is still work to do."
Bradley on Jefferson Montero
"He has made great progress this week. I would expect he will return to full training within a few days. If we are lucky, maybe he will be involved at Stoke, but if not then very soon."
Bradley on new chief operating officer Chris Pearlman
"I think from a business perspective Jason (Levien) and Steve (Kaplan) feel strongly that with his background, he will bring a lot of what they want on the commercial side. My responsibility is to make sure we have a team who are winning games and are fun to watch. Also it's important for me to be part of things, whether that's with supporters or at charity appearances. I want to make sure I represent the club in all the right ways."
Bradley on chasing his first win
"Fans look for that bounce when a new manager comes in, and we have to make that happen. When it comes, I will be pleased for the players. We have looked at some of the positives from Watford, and also at some of the things we could have done better. I think the players feel good about what we're trying to achieve."
Bradley on Alfie Mawson
"He has great presence. He goes on the field with confidence. He reminds me of Jay DeMerit, who played for Watford and with the US. No matter who we were up against, as he was leaving the dressing room he would wink as if to say 'no problem'. Whether it was Zlatan (Ibrahimovic) or Wayne Rooney, it didn't matter. He was excited by the challenge. I see a lot of that in Alfie."