Matt Gill | It will be a tough test, but we are in a good place
Matt Gill expects Swansea City to face a tough test at Watford this evening (7.45pm), but believes the intensity of competition for places in the squad has the visitors in a good place ahead of the Vicarage Road encounter.
The Swans head to Hertfordshire looking to continue a good run of recent form that has seen them take 10 points from their last five games, and win three of their last four, including the dramatic weekend win at West Brom.
The Hornets, meanwhile, started life under new boss Slaven Bilic with a thumping 4-0 win at Stoke in the Croatian’s first game since succeeding Rob Edwards in the managerial hotseat.
It sets up an intriguing encounter under the lights, and Gill is fully aware of the challenge the hosts will pose given the calibre and Premier League experience in their squad.
But the Swans squad have performed strongly recently, and a sign of the competition for places in parts of the squad was underlined by the impact of Olivier Ntcham and Michael Obafemi from the bench at The Hawthorns.
“The change of manager seems to be happening a lot to us recently, with the Stoke game we had Alex Neil’s first game in charge and now we have that here in terms of it being a first home game,” said Swansea’s assistant head coach.
“Personnel wise they showed a few tweaks at the weekend and had a great result, a brilliant start. So, we know this is going to be a tough game regardless of the managerial change because of the squad they have got.
“We will approach it as we always do. It is going to be about us, what we do and how we perform. We will make the players aware of some strengths and weaknesses but it is down to us to perform and stick to the detail we have.
“I think it will be a really good game. We are in a good place.
“Competition for places is something we have tried to get since we came through the door 14 or 15 months ago.
“You want squad depth, but the key thing is competition and the way the lads have been playing has been great.
“That then raises the intensity in training, it creates competition for places and that’s where you want to be as coaching staff and as players.
“You want to force your way into the team, or you want to try and make sure you keep your place in the team. All credit to the guys who have been playing.
“You look at the two young number eights at the weekend – Ollie Cooper and Luke Cundle – and they have done tremendously well. So, it’s a good place to be and everyone needs to continue on this path.”