Clement targets pre-Christmas rush

7th December 2017
First team

Paul Clement is targeting pre-Christmas progress as Swansea City look to pull themselves clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

The Swans have dropped to the bottom of the table having taken only one point from their last seven top-flight games.

But Clement remains convinced that having avoided the drop thanks to a spectacular run in the second half of last season, the Swans can do the same again this term.

The first challenge in the Swans manager’s eyes is to reach the midway point in 2017-18 in decent shape.

Halfway through last season, the Swans had just 12 points on the board.

With four games to go until they turn for home this time around, Clement’s side have only nine points to their name.

And with fixtures against West Brom, Manchester City, Everton and Crystal Palace – three of which are at home – to come before Christmas, Clement feels his team must now deliver some results.

“We have nine points at the moment and we are four games from halfway in the season,” he said.

“We know from last season that with 12 points at halfway, we can stay up.

“But we really need to be getting to a minimum of 12 points by halfway in the season, because any lower than that will mean it’s going to be tough.

“We have got four games to make that happen, and two of those are home games where we really have to be looking to get results.

“We have to try to better what we had last year. If we do that and then strengthen in January, I think we’ll have a good chance.

“Some other clubs are starting to struggle a little bit and I think there are lots and twists of turns ahead.

“What we have to focus on is trying to get the first win on the board this weekend.”

The Swans look for only their second home victory of the season when they face West Brom on Saturday.

The Baggies are currently 17th in the table, four points clear of their next opponents, having failed to win a league game since the second weekend of the campaign.

For a while the Swans looked capable of ending their run without a victory at Stoke last weekend, but they eventually went down 2-1 at the bet365 Stadium.

Clement revealed that some frustrations were aired in the dressing room after the Potters loss – and insisted that was a good thing.

“There are no divisions in our squad,” he said.

“It’s a cohesive dressing room, but it’s a dressing room that is disappointed and one that is showing passion for the club.

“The players want to turn things round and they are fighting.

“I spoke mostly (after Stoke), then a couple of views were exchanged between the players.

“It was nothing abnormal. I have been waiting for it to happen.

“It was nothing disrespectful in any way – it was a helpful discussion and there was some honesty. Hopefully it will have the right effect.”