Olivier Ntcham getting fitter and stronger at Swansea City
Olivier Ntcham believes he is getting stronger and fitter at Swansea City after clocking up his latest start under Russell Martin.
The Frenchman was included in the starting XI for the first time in almost a month as the Swans went down 2-1 to Birmingham City.
Ntcham, who went to close to opening the scoring in the 20th minute after latching onto an Ethan Laird pass, featured for just over an hour before being replaced by Liam Walsh in what was his fifth start since arriving on a free transfer.
And the 25-year-old, who had been sidelined from a hamstring injury sustained in the defeat at Fulham last month, feels he is topping up his fitness and match sharpness with each game.
"Personally, I think I'm very fit after recovering in international break,” he said.
"I was injured a couple of weeks ago, but now that I'm back I feel much better.
"It's been a little bit tiring as we've had three big games in a week, but we have to keep going."
The Blues test came after victories over Cardiff City and West Brom, with their trip to St Andrew’s chalking up a third match in six days.
After falling behind to Troy Deeney’s goal, the Swans levelled after the break thanks to Michael Obafemi’s first goal for the club.
But a late Riley McGree effort meant the Swans went home empty-handed, and Ntcham felt a lack of killer instinct proved their downfall.
"It was a little bit frustrating, we managed the first half really well, we felt like we were in control," he said.
"We had a couple chances to score, but we were expecting a better second half, obviously that didn't happen so we are a little disappointed.
"We have to keep the positivity, but overall we just need to be more clinical in front of goal.
"We need to be more ruthless in front of goal, and on top of that, we need to be more vicious and start creating more opportunities."