Bob Bradley: Swansea City must show leadership as they face Ashley Williams
17th November 2016
Bob Bradley has called on Swansea City's leaders to come to the fore when they are reunited with Ashley Williams at Everton this weekend.
The Swans will come up against Williams for the first time since their former club skipper opted to end his stellar stint at the Liberty by moving to Goodison Park in the summer.
And Bradley admits his team must display the kind of leadership skills Williams was renowned for if they are to end their 10-game winless streak on Saturday.
"I have heard many stories about Ashley and they always begin with his leadership ability," said the Swans boss.
"I understand that when a player who carries that type of responsibility within a team chooses to leave, work needs to be done to build that type of leadership back into the team.
"Without a doubt, we need more leadership. We need leadership on the field, and that comes in different ways.
"That can be a strong voice, but it can also be someone who makes the right play at right moment in a game.
"That could mean putting the opponent under pressure at the right time, or stepping out to make an important intervention.
"We need more guys who are ready, when the game starts, to take real action.
"When you lose a leader, everybody is challenged to take a bit of a bigger role. That has been a message to our group in recent weeks."
The Swans beat Everton in a league fixture for the first time last season, with goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Ayew earning Francesco Guidolin victory in his first game as the club's boss.
Bradley, who is still to win after four matches at the helm, is craving a repeat of that result as the Swans bid to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.
Nathan Dyer could play some part after ankle surgery - though he is not ready for 90 minutes - while Jefferson Montero hopes to feature despite breaking a bone in his hand against Manchester United last time out.
Bradley accepts that Swans fans were left frustrated after United eased to a 3-1 win at the Liberty - and has urged his team to show courage as they seek a change in fortunes.
"I understand the supporters feeling passion, emotion and disappointment with where we stand at the moment," he added.
"That part I absolutely get. In situations like this, you have to challenge the players to understand that you don't get out of these spots unless you show courage and strength.
"You don't get out of tough spots in football unless you say that 'Okay, we have put ourselves in this bad spot, but this isn't going to be the end of us'."
Bradley on Paul Williams's arrival at the Liberty
"We had a good conversation a few weeks back. We did some more checking and had some discussions. We looked at the fact that as a coach, his reputation for working with young players and working on the field, it comes with big, big compliments across the board.
"He is very eager to join in. He is a good man with good communication skills and I am very excited to add him to my staff."
Bradley on what went wrong against Manchester United
"We are talking about half an hour after (Paul) Pogba's goal. I was disappointed with our response.
"Our intensity needs to be better and we need to be harder to play against.
"It's not just about one part of football. We have got to be better in many ways.
"But that 30 minutes after Pogba's goal was not what we are going to be about.
"No matter what, we have to play with commitment, urgency and passion. In that period, that didn't happen."
Bradley on Nathan Dyer
"He has trained all week and it's very good to see him. He isn't ready for 90 minutes but he is someone we can consider as far as being in the squad is concerned."
Bradley on getting the key moments right
"Good teams make plays count in the right parts of the field. That can be an attacking play or a defensive play.
"There are moments when you organise yourselves behind the ball, and the other team will put some passes together.
"But when there is a poor pass or a player has his back turned, you have a chance to turn the tables. When that moment comes, we have to be ready - and everybody has to be ready to join in.
"In football, sometimes you will play against a good team and get pushed deeper than you want to be, but then you have to be able to compete.
"When you see Atletico Madrid, they compete. I have seen situations where we have enough players behind the ball, but that doesn't solve your problems.
"You also have to be aware of what's happening and make sure you don't lose players. That's an area where we must improve."
Bradley on Jefferson Montero
"He trained today. That was important from a confidence standpoint, because initially he wasn't confident that he could too much with his hand in a cast.
"We are still in discussions about whether he can play a role this weekend, but the flukey injury he picked up is not a problem long-term."
Bradley on Everton's threats
"Romelu Lukaku is a top player. He is physical and he can score all kinds of goals.
"We have to be aware of what kind of chances he lives off, and we also have to be aware of Everton on the counter-attack.
"They are a talented team - as well as Lukaku you have (Yannick) Bolasie, (Kevin) Mirallas and (Ross) Barkley. The two full-backs also get forward well, especially (Seamus) Coleman."