Jordi: We don't fear anyone
22nd December 2013
Jordi Amat insists Swansea City believe they can beat anyone at the Liberty Stadium despite an indifferent opening half of the season on home soil.
Michael Laudrup's side welcome Everton to SA1 this afternoon in their final home game of a memorable calendar year.
The Swans lifted their first piece of major silverware last season, before going on to finish in the top ten of the Barclays Premier League.
However, despite last season's imperious home form, the Swans have won just twice at the Liberty this term.
They have been impressive on their travels, winning three times in the league as well as recording a fine victory away at Valencia in the Europa League.
But Amat remains unconcerned by the statistics, instead remaining positive ahead of the visit of in-form Everton.
"We have played some big sides at home so far," he said. "We know here we can beat any team and we try not to get too disappointed and make sure we try to do better next time.
"And we have to remember we have done well in the Europa League and we have to look at that as well.
"Big teams have big quality but we have played well against them despite the defeats. At 0-0 against Arsenal in September we showed we matched them, but for five minutes it was disappointing.
"But now we have another game at home and it's an important one for us."
The Swans are yet to score a goal against Everton since winning promotion to the Premier League, and the Toffees secured a thumping 3-0 win at the Liberty last season.
Now under the stewardship of former Swans boss Roberto Martinez, the Merseyside club are sitting just outside the top four after a fine first half of the campaign.
And following last weekend's draw at Norwich, the Spanish defender knows the importance of the squad ahead of four games in the space of ten days.
"They are a very good team," said Amat. "But I hope to play, and I have been training at a high level.
"We have a lot of games coming up, and it's important that everyone is ready to play. Last week was a good point for us, especially away from home at a difficult stadium.
"If you win a couple of games in a row then you can stay in the top half of the table so it is a very important period for us.
"The performance of the team is very good, and we know we can win against Everton."
One player that won't be on show at the Liberty is the visitors' on-loan playmaker Gerard Deulofeu.
The Spanish Under-21 international is on loan at Goodison Park from Barcelona and has made an eye-catching start to life in the Premier League.
But the midfielder suffered a hamstring injury in the recent win over Fulham and it is unknown who long he will be out for.
And Amat was full of praise for his international team-mate after the pair both made the switch to England last summer.
"He's a good friend of mine," he said. "And a very, very good player.
"He needed to get away form Barcelona and play and he has had a great season so far. It has been a great chance for him to play regularly and get some more experience under his belt.
"It would have been nice to play against him but it wasn't to be this time."
Meanwhile, Amat has revealed that he feels like a "new player" after his first six months at Swansea City.
The Spanish centre-back made the switch from La Liga club Espanyol in June after the Swans paid £2.5million for his services.
Now, with 14 appearances under his belt already, Amat feels he has become a more all-round defender thanks to the coaching staff and his team-mates at the Liberty.
"Playing in the Premier League and also the Europa League has been a dream for me," said the 21-year-old.
"I've learned so much not only in the games but on the training pitch too. Watching Ashley Williams and Chico Flores is an education for me, and also listening to the advice of the coaches too has really helped me.
"Playing against the different styles and tactics of opposition players and teams in the Premier League and on the continent has been massive in my development here.
"For me, being at Swansea City has been perfect. I am really enjoying my time here, I'm learning and I'm also playing in a good amount of games."
Amat started in Swansea's final Europa League group game in St Gallen, which saw the Swans qualify for the last 32 despite their loss in Switzerland, and he then partnered Ashley Williams in the heart of defence in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Norwich.
The Spaniard put in an impressive performance against the Canaries as the Swans moved onto the 20-point mark after 16 games, and he's now hoping to play a big role over a busy Christmas period.
"It's great to have played an important part in the side recently," he added. "It does allow you to get into a rhythm and build some momentum in terms of match sharpness.
"When you get the opportunity to play, you just have to aim to do exactly what your manager asks of you and do your best for the team.
"Being part of this team is very enjoyable for me. The style is perfect and I think I am improving with every game I play."
Not only moving clubs, but also moving country, can be a big step for anyone, let alone a 21-year-old arriving in the most watched league in the world.
And Amat revealed the part that his family played in helping him adjust to the move to south Wales.
"Family is very, very important to me," said the defender, who spent 12 years at Espanyol. "The decision to come here was a big move for me, but also for my family because they said 'Jordi, we will come with you'.
"That shows the level of support they give me. To move country and change jobs is not an easy decision, but they wanted to be with me to show their full support.
"And that is something which has helped me. With my family around me, I feel I can give everything to this club. I want to do my best for Swansea and my family.
"And I think this club is the same as me - it is a family club, and I really like that. Swansea is a lovely place and the people are very welcoming. I have a good feeling about this city and club."
Amat was one of four Spaniards to arrive at the Liberty Stadium last summer, following Alejandro Pozuelo, Jose Canas and Alvaro Vazquez.
That took the club's Spanish contingent up to eight - giving the Liberty Stadium an even greater cosmopolitan feel.
And Amat highlighted the role played by Michael Laudrup in helping him to settle in straight away to life at Swansea City.
"Moving to Swansea and the Premier League was a massive opportunity for me," he said. "It's a club that is developing and improving each season, and in Spain the club is very famous and popular now.
"But I remember my first training session out in Holland and thinking 'wow, that's Michael Laudrup showing me what to do'.
"I told myself to listen to every single bit of advice he gives and to learn as much as I can, because he was an amazing player - one of the best.
"So when you have the opportunity to improve under Michael Laudrup, then you must take it. When he talks, everyone listens. You can sense the respect the whole squad has for the manager.
"But I've enjoyed it a lot so far and I'm very happy here."