Dyer: The wins will come
29th March 2014
Nathan Dyer reflected on a "tough" few weeks for Swansea City - but believes it is only a matter of time before the tide turns in their favour.
Two weeks have passed since the Swans last lined up at the Liberty in a disappointing defeat against West Brom.
Despite taking an early lead through Roland Lamah's goal, the visitors roared back in the second half to turn the game on its head and leave the hosts licking their wounds.
That defeat left Garry Monk's side just four points clear of the drop zone and came on the back of a home draw against Crystal Palace.
But despite not having won in nine games in all competitions, Dyer believes the wins are just around the corner.
"It's been tough recently," he said. "They (Crystal Palace and West Brom) were two games that we thought we could come away with the points, but it wasn't meant to be.
"I thought we controlled the first half against West Brom but we kind of crumbled in the second period. That was unlike us and we now have to pick ourselves up and go again.
"Playing those teams, it's always going to be a battle. We need to realise that that is what it is going to be like.
"It's hard when you play well and lose or draw, and it is hard to take. I thought we battled hard against Crystal Palace and were unlucky not to win that game.
"But we know what we're capable of and just need to keep battling and eventually our fortunes will turn."
Indeed, it appeared that fortunes took a positive turn in midweek as the Swans travelled to the Emirates to face Arsenal.
The Gunners came into the game on the back of a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of rivals Chelsea, but fell behind early on when Wilfried Bony netted his 20th goal of the season.
However, the home side turned the game on its head within the space of 68 seconds in the second half as goals from Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud put Arsenal in front.
But the Swans dug deep and earned a point in stoppage time when Leon Britton surged into the box and the ball ricocheted off an Arsenal man to hand Garry Monk's side a share of the spoils and move themselves on to the 30-point mark in the Premier League.
"We haven't been in this position since we came in to the Premier League," said Dyer. "But now it's hit us that we need to dig deep.
"We're playing great football, creating chances and scoring goals. We just need to shut up shop when we can and if we can't win the game and it's a draw, then it isn't so bad because we can't afford any more defeats.
"Personally, I don't think you can use excuses anywhere. You can't always put it down to tiredness from games; sometimes you have to know how to manage yourself as a player.
"But the West Brom game was just disappointing. Everybody knows what we should have done and it went wrong.
"We just need to put that aside and make sure we're ready for today's game."
And this afternoon's clash has certainly been billed as somewhere near crucial.
Both sides are looking to steer themselves clear of danger and secure of fourth straight season in the Premier League.
Norwich lie just two points clear of Swansea in 13th place, with the home side yet to record a victory over the Canaries since they arrived in the top-flight back in 2011.
The reverse fixture at Carrow Road in December saw Dyer give Swansea the lead with a fine goal, before the winger was stretchered off with a nasty ankle injury.
Gary Hooper scored a superb equaliser for the hosts as the game finished 1-1, but Dyer is looking for a change in fortune this afternoon.
"They have been a bit of a bogey side for us," he said. "But we'll approach the game in the right way and make sure we can get some more points on the board.
"The injury is behind me now. I'm a stronger person than to be worrying about things like that.
"When it comes, it is game time and I'll make sure I'm switched on and ready to go. It's always tough having to sit and watch from the stands because the side are battling hard and they need you - and I always want to be out there."
Dyer has five goals to his name so far this season, just one short of his tally for the whole of the last campaign.
But after missing a number of games due to injury, the winger has been in good form once more under the guidance of head coach Garry Monk.
And, as he admits, it was been something of a transition from captain to gaffer in just a matter of weeks.
"Everyone has to realise what he (Monk) wants from us and how he wants us to go about it," said Dyer. "He has been thrown in at the deep end really but he has coped superbly.
"We want to show him that we are battlers, just like he is. We are better passing side when we have that space, and we keep the ball well.
"I've still got the license to come inside, but it is all about doing that at the right time.
"Attacking-wise, I've managed to get into better positions this year, and if I can't score then I'll look for a team-mate."
Meanwhile, as the Premier League season starts its final countdown until May, the stakes are unquestionably high.
But for Dyer, and the rest of the Swans squad, they are under no illusions about the task in hand.
"We know how important it is that we stay in this league," he said. "Garry's told us where we're at and we have players in the squad who have played in the lower leagues and got us up to the Premier League.
"We know what it feels like to work so hard to get here and we know we're good enough to stay here."