Midfield battle will be key against Saints, says Carroll
31st January 2015
Tom Carroll cut a frustrated figure last weekend, but this Sunday he hopes to be playing with a smile again.
The midfielder, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, lasted just eight minutes of the 3-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers as the Swans exited the FA Cup at Ewood Park.
With Kyle Bartley sent off after just six minutes, Swans boss Garry Monk replaced Carroll with Federico Fernandez to restore a four-man defence.
Carroll then watched on as the Swans bowed out of the competition to the Championship side.
"It was frustrating, particularly as it was so early in the game. But it was a call the manager had to make," Carroll acknowledged.
"That kind of situation won't happen much in your career, but you just have to accept it and get on with it."
With the Swans returning to Barclays Premier League action this Sunday, Carroll hopes to play a bigger role against Southampton at St Mary's.
With Gylfi Sigurdsson suspended and Ki Sung-Yueng away on international duty with South Korea, Monk has the likes of Carroll, Leon Britton, Jonjo Shelvey, youngsters Jay Fulton and Matt Grimes along with Marvin Emnes as options for his midfield three.
And it is the midfield department which Carroll thinks can prove a vital ingredient in helping turn the side's fortunes around after two consecutive defeats.
"We have to step up as a team, and the midfield is a crucial part of how we play," said the 22-year-old.
"It's important that whichever three is selected that they get the team playing and get us back on track.
"People will probably say we are in a crisis, but it's only two defeats in a row. Chelsea are top of the league and one of the best teams in the world, while the Blackburn defeat was very disappointing but the early red card didn't help.
"We have not been at the level we want to be at, but we have Southampton - live on TV - next and it's an opportunity for us to bounce back.
"They are a good side and they've had an excellent season, so it will be a very tough game but if we are on our game then we will get a result."
Please note, fans planning to travel by rail to this game are going to find their journey severely affected by engineering work. The line is closed between Swansea and Cardiff all day on that day with buses replacing trains. The Cardiff to Portsmouth service is also affected by engineering work between Salisbury and Romsey, so buses will replace trains between these two points.
Further information is available either through www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk or by calling 08457 000 125. Alternatively, Nation Rail Enquiries can also provide full details of the timetable that is available on 08457 484950.