Game management was key to success, says Sigurdsson
1st February 2017
Iceman Gylfi Sigurdsson hailed his side's game management after the Swans recorded their first back-to-back wins of the season with a 2-1 success over Southampton.
Sigurdsson grabbed the 70th-minute winner at the Liberty Stadium after Shane Long had cancelled out Alfie Mawson's opener for the Swans.
The victory kept Paul Clement's side one place above the drop zone and dragged Middlesbrough and Leicester into the relegation pack with all three teams now level on 21 points - ahead of Crystal Palace (19), Sunderland (16) and Hull (16) with 15 games to go.
"It was nice to get the winning goal, but the most important thing was the performance and getting the three points,'' declared Sigurdsson.
"The Liverpool victory gave us a lot of confidence going into the game, but we knew it was going to be tough because Southampton have shown what a good side they are.
"If I'm honest I think they started the game much better than we did and we were on the back foot for the first 10 minutes.
"But then we got the goal and the game changed. I thought we managed the game really well in the second half after our second goal, especially towards the end when we kept the ball in the corners to see the game out.''
Sigurdsson's winner moved him back level with Fernando Llorente as the club's top scorer with eight goals (one in the League Cup). His seventh Premier League goal of the campaign took his total in a Swans shirt to 32 and level with the club's leading 'top-flight' hitman Bob Latchford.
With Swansea scoring 28 goals in total so far, Sigurdsson's 50 per cent contribution to team goals is the fourth highest in the division behind Jermain Defoe (70%), Alvaro Negredo (52%) and Zlatan Ibrahmiovic (51%), while his goals and assists have won his side 12 points this season - a feat only bettered by Ibrahimovic and Chelsea's Diego Costa.
But it is his all-round contribution which has had the fans and pundits purring.
The Icelandic international has already been involved in 14 of Swansea's Premier League goals this season - seven goals and seven assists - to equal his tally for the whole of last season.
In fact, Sigurdsson has had a hand in 55 Premier League goals since signing for the club - 32 goals and 23 assists - the most by any player in a Swans shirt, and 24 more than his nearest rival Wilfried Bony (31).
And despite the fact that head coach Paul Clement has only been at the club for a month, he has already seen enough from the midfielder to sing his praises after the Saints victory.
"Gylfi has fantastic delivery at set-plays and he produced a wonderful finish for the winner," said Clement.
"But I would like to comment on Gylfi's work ethic. People have asked me if he is alright playing on the left, but I haven't had a conversation with him about that. He has done everything that has been asked of him."
With plenty of work still to be done, neither Clement nor Sigurdsson will be getting carried away with their latest victory though, especially with a trip to Manchester City up next on Sunday.
"After a difficult period in December and coming into January, it was nice to get a good win against Liverpool and follow it up with another three points against Southampton,'' added Sigurdsson.
"It's Manchester City next, which will be difficult, so it was nice to get six points from the last two games.
"Not many people will expect us to get something from the game at the Etihad, but that was the same at Anfield and we managed to get all three points.''
READ MORE . . .
- GALLERY: Jack Army at the Liberty
- Narsingh reflects on winning debut
- Clement toasts "massive" victory
- REPORT: Swans 2 Southampton 1