Carvalhal: Belief the key
Carlos Carvalhal reckons belief will be key to Swansea City’s hopes of pulling off another great escape in the Premier League.
The Swans have dropped back into the bottom three with just two games of a traumatic season remaining thanks to a painful seven-match winless streak.
But Carvalhal remains convinced the Swans can drag themselves out of trouble based on what he has seen from his players since taking the helm at the end of December.
The Swans boss feels his team’s failure to register a league victory since the beginning of March is down to a number of factors which will count for nothing when they launch a final bid to survive this week.
Carvalhal’s men face Southampton at the Liberty on Tuesday night before already-relegated Stoke come to SA1 on the final day of the season.
And the Portuguese wants his players to back themselves heading into the two home fixtures which will decide their fate.
“I believe in myself and I believe in my players,” Carvalhal said.
“My target now is to try to get the players to believe in themselves and believe in their colleagues.
“These are the things that we must do. I would be talking in a completely different way if, for example, we had to win on Tuesday and then had to wait for two or three other results to go our way.
“That would be a really bad situation for us. But when it is in your hands to do it, you can just concentrate on doing it.
“This is the way for us and I believe we can do it.”
The Swans’ home form has been impressive under Carvalhal, with seven wins coming from 11 games in all competitions.
Only Chelsea and Spurs have beaten Carvalhal’s team on their own patch, while the Swans have chalked up league victories over Liverpool, Arsenal, Burnley and West Ham.
Now they must find a way to get the better of a Southampton side who have hauled themselves out of the bottom three on the back of their weekend draw at Everton and a home win over Bournemouth in their previous game.
While the Swans face Stoke, the Saints host Manchester City on the final day.
Southampton manager Mark Hughes has suggested Tuesday’s winners in SA1 will stay up.
Carvalhal, meantime, feels the Swans must keep calm if they are to deliver the result they crave.
“We must have emotional control and we must act and do the proper things,” he added.
“We must try to make sure there are no mistakes – this is the way.
“We must keep organised, we must play with confidence and with emotional control.
“It is not a time to scream. It is a time to be focused and do the proper things.”