Francesco Guidolin urges Swans to show fighting spirit
15th September 2016
Francesco Guidolin has urged his side to continue showing their fighting spirit when they take on Southampton on Sunday (2.15pm).
The Swans travel to St. Mary's Stadium aiming to build on the positives from their 2-2 draw with Chelsea last weekend.
Four points from their opening four games sees Guidolin's side in 13th position in the Premier League, while Southampton have picked up just two points so far this season.
And Guidolin insists his players must show a repeat of the battling qualities which earned them a share of the spoils against the Blues when they visit the South Coast.
"It is a difficult match because Southampton are a good team," said the Italian.
"We must be ready to fight, because in this league to fight is the most important thing.
"The quality of the players is obviously important, but fighting spirit is very important.
"We must improve. We know we can play better, quicker and with more confidence and aggression."
At his pre-match press conference, much focus was placed on the change in formation put in place for the home draw with Chelsea.
The Swans switched to a 3-5-2 formation, though Guidolin reverted to a more familiar 4-3-3 before the break after Chelsea took the lead with 18 minutes played.
He said: "For me it is about working in a different way and shape. In my opinion we have the right characteristics to play different ways.
"What is important is mentality, not the players' position.
"We played well for the first 18 minutes against Chelsea, but not after they scored.
"After 30 minutes we needed a reaction and I decided to make a tactical change.
"A lot of managers have made a change before half-time. It's not a good moment, and it wasn't an easy decision for me.
"I have managed a lot of games, because my career is very long, and I have used a lot of formations.
"We could play with the same formation (on Sunday)."
Guidolin is hopeful record-signing Borja will be available for Sunday's trip to St Mary's.
The Spanish striker is still waiting to make his debut after suffering with a thigh problem following his £15.5million move from Atletico Madrid in August.
And the Swans boss hinted he could play some part against Southampton.
"He is training with us and I hope to have him available for Sunday," added Guidolin.
"I want to see him train with intensity and confidence. I hope to see him in this condition as soon as possible because we need him.
"He is a good player but it is important in this period not to rush him if he's not ready."
Guidolin on Nathan Dyer's ankle injury
"We decided to resolve his problem with an operation on Monday.
"He will need two months of recovery. It is better to resolve it quicky."
Guidolin on Fernando Llorente
"It is his first season in the Premier League. He has played strongly for the team and he's very important to us.
"When we improve our way of playing then Fernando can score goals.
"The team has to improve. If we play better with more opportunities to score, then Fernando or other players will score."
Guidolin on Alfie Mawson
"He is available to play, but I have to know him better because he has just arrived.
"It is important to know him better."
Guidolin on Southampton manager Claude Puel
"I spoke with Claude while we were both in Washington on our pre-season tours in July.
"He is a good manager and I am happy that he has had the opportunity to manage in the Premier League."
READ MORE . . .
- Dyer set for ankle operation
- Download our free Sigurdsson image
- Ki's fighting fit
- Win tickets to Swans' EFL Cup tie