Dyer's on the road to recovery
Nathan Dyer is in upbeat mood ahead of the new season after putting holidays on hold as he bids to get back to fitness.
While the majority of his team-mates have been away soaking up the sun, Dyer has spent much of his summer at Swansea City’s Fairwood training base.
And the 29-year-old hopes his extra close-season shifts will pay dividends in 2017-18.
Dyer is battling back from the ruptured Achilles he suffered at the beginning of February.
He will not be ready to play when the new Premier League campaign kicks off but, if all goes to plan, will come back into consideration at some point in September.
Paul Clement has told Dyer he is part of his plans – and the long-serving wideman is desperate to repay his manager’s faith.
“I am optimistic about next season,” Dyer said. “It’s pleasing for me to know the manager and the coaching staff like me.
“My aim is to come back and try to break into the team. It will be hard because the other lads will be ahead of me, but I am confident I can get back to my best.
“The timescale to get back was about nine months maximum. I want to make sure I am right, so the only thing to do was to keep working throughout the summer and make sure I am getting the right rehab.
“Things have been going well. Touch wood there have been no setbacks so far so I can keep pushing towards getting back soon.
“I will be doing some running on the pitch in the next couple of weeks hopefully and then we will see. Hopefully by the end of September I will be back in contention.”
Dyer, who has been working with the Swans’ performance staff over the summer, is hungry to be in peak condition when he returns to the first-team fold having seen his last campaign ruined by fitness issues.
Having returned from a season-long loan at Leicester in the summer of 2016, he impressed Francesco Guidolin and signed a new long-term Liberty contract.
But he needed ankle surgery in the autumn, then suffered the Achilles injury after being picked to face the Foxes by Clement.
“It was a tough season,” Dyer added. “I had a good pre-season but then had to have an operation because of some bone growth in my ankle.
“We had three managers during the season, but I had a good meeting with the boss, Paul, and he said I was fully in his plans. I was looking forward to showing him what I could do.
“He gave me a chance – I started against Leicester. It was a game where I wanted to show both managers what I could do because I hadn’t started any games when I was at Leicester.
“But six minutes in, my Achilles went. It’s one of the worst injuries you can have.”
That left Dyer having to watch on nervously from the stands as the Swans battled to remain in the Premier League.
The former Southampton youngster reckons the way Clement’s side surged over the survival line suggests there are better times ahead next season.
“Having three managers in a year is not good for any team,” he said.
“But you could see as soon as the manager came in the knowledge he had. He brought the structure we needed as a team.
“We have got good players here, but we needed that togetherness and he brought that. Tactically he is great too. He has worked at some of the best clubs in the world and he knows what he is talking about.
“He knows how to set up a team and we all love the way he works. We are looking forward to starting the next season well. Hopefully it will be a better year for me, for the club and for the fans.”