Bob Bradley: Swansea City will see rewards for their work
22nd October 2016
Bob Bradley reckons Swansea City can look ahead with optimism despite seeing his Liberty debut end in a frustrating stalemate with Watford.
Bradley's new team looked the more likely winners as they kept a first clean sheet since the opening day of the season.
But there was some disappointment for the home side at full time even though the goalless draw ended their four-game losing sequence.
Bradley's first point was not enough to lift his team out of the Premier League relegation places - but the Swans boss was in upbeat mood afterwards.
"There's an old line I say a lot - the work to become a good team is hard, that's why most teams don't do it," Bradley said.
"The reward of three points didn't come for us today, but that's not going to stop us working.
"And we have to trust the fact that if we work the right way, if our football gets better and if we compete better, the results we want will come our way.
"I thought the second half today was strong for us. We spoke about a few things at half-time and we changed the game tactically when we brought Fernando (Llorente) on. I thought that was effective.
"There were a lot of positives for us, including the first clean sheet for a long time. There are things for us to build on.
"There were a number of times in the second half where I thought: 'Okay, here it is'.
"But just because the goal didn't come, I don't want to forget all the positive things we did."
There was not much to separate the sides in what was a fairly forgettable first period.
But the Swans increased the tempo after the break, putting the Hornets under significant pressure as they chased a first win in eight Premier League games.
Though the hosts' desire was never in question, however, they could not find a route past Heurelho Gomes.
Mike van der Hoorn and Gylfi Sigurdsson both forced saves from the Watford keeper with efforts from point-blank range.
And it was Sigurdsson who came closest to finding a winner eight minutes from the end when his 20-yarder hit the woodwork.
"I have said since I arrived that the tough stretch the team have been on means they have probably lost a bit of confidence," Bradley added.
"We are not where we want to be, but after training every day and in the dressing room after the game, I think I can see it coming back a little bit.
"I thought the atmosphere at the stadium was fantastic. I have met so many people since I came to Swansea and I have seen the passion they have for the club.
"We have to reflect that passion people have with the effort we put in and the way we play."
Bradley, meantime, paid tribute to summer signing Alfie Mawson, who impressed having been given a long-awaited debut in the heart of defence.
"I thought Alfie and Mike (van der Hoorn) gave a solid performance at the heart of defence," he said.
"I think Alfie has earned the respect from his team-mates day in and day out. He has a real presence on the field.
"He is not afraid to talk and organise and he is a solid passer. His first game I thought was very good."