Olivier Ntcham takes big step forward after Swansea City debut
Debutant Olivier Ntcham felt he took a massive step towards full fitness after making his first start in seven months as Swansea City were held by Hull.
The Frenchman, who arrived at the club last week, featured for just over 70 minutes as the Swans were held to a 0-0 draw at the Swansea.com Stadium.
It was the 25-year-old’s first start since March during a loan spell with Ligue 1 giants Marseille.
But the former Celtic midfielder was among the impressive performers in Russell Martin’s side, who were forced to settle for a point despite making over 700 passes and recording 16 shots at goal.
And Ntcham was happy with how his debut went in SA1.
“I am really pleased with how it went on a personal note. I had some cramp after 70 minutes, so I had to come off,” he said.
“I haven’t played much this year, so I am really happy to be back on the pitch and playing again.
“The head coach said throughout the week that he’d talk to me about the game and how I was improving physically throughout the week.
“We both felt I was ready to start the game, and I was happy to have played for as long as I did.
“I had some good moments, and others where I was feeling tired, but that’s normal. I am not going to be 100 per cent straight away.”
Ntcham’s range of passing and vision were some of the highlights of an impressive performance against the Tigers.
Playing in an attacking role in midfield, he linked up well with his new team-mates as they showed good signs of an understanding already forming in the short space they’ve had to work with each other.
And Ntcham feels the early signs are positive.
“We worked really well together, with and without the ball,” he added.
“I really like the attacking role in midfield because I can get forward and help the team attack. I also want to help the team defensively.
“I always express myself when I have the ball. When you chase the ball, it’s different, but when we have the ball we will shine.”