Paul Clement: Swansea City desire is clear
2nd March 2017
Paul Clement has saluted his players' desire to do well as Swansea City prepare for "a very crucial period" in their Premier League survival push.
The Swans face another key game this weekend when they host mid-table Burnley at the Liberty Stadium.
Clement's men then face away trips to two direct rivals, Hull City and Bournemouth, before kicking off April with a home fixture against Middlesbrough, the side who are currently one place below them in table.
Clement acknowledges that the quartet of fixtures could be a pivotal - and says his squad are doing all they can to ensure they come through this sequence of games in style.
"I am learning every day about my players," said the Swans head coach.
"They are very focused - they have been right from the start. They have shown a very professional attitude and they are very, very hungry to stay and play at this level.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more from them in terms of the way they are preparing for games.
"We have the three games in March and then we begin April with a game against Middlesbrough. We are all very aware that it is a very crucial period of four games, but all we are focusing on for the moment is Burnley.
"We have just come through a tough run of games but we have picked up a good number of points, and we will try to do the same thing on Saturday."
The Swans had put a four-point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone with victory over Leicester City in their last home match.
But defeat at Chelsea last weekend, coupled with results elsewhere, means the gap has been cut to two ahead of Burnley's visit.
Nevertheless, Clement insists his players' mindset has not altered.
"We had a difficult away game at Chelsea last weekend where we tried to make it difficult for them but just didn't have enough to push them right to the end," he added.
"They deserved the win, although the thing I am slightly disappointed about is that we had a good claim for a penalty at 1-1. If that had been awarded, who knows what would have happened.
"But I don't think the tension or the stress has increased or decreased because of what happened at Chelsea.
"We have won our last two home games, and now we have another very important one against Burnley that we are striving to win.
"The home wins we've had were against teams who arguably we are in with a shout of doing better against, and that is the case again this weekend."
Clement revealed that although Jefferson Montero is back in full training, he will not be considered for the Burnley game.
Ki Sung-Yueng also remains sidelined along with Nathan Dyer, who is out for the rest of the season.
Clement on Montero's fitness
"He has had a lengthy injury but he has done very well in his rehab, being very professional and pushing hard every day.
"This weekend will be too soon for him, but next weekend he could be involved.
"I don't know the player well. He is a bubbly character and having seen some games in the past, I know he can make a difference because he is quick and he can create.
"We are very happy to have him back involved."
Clement on a possible contract extension for Claude Makelele
"He is very focused on his job, helping me and helping the players.
"We haven't had any discussions (about a new deal) yet, but I don't think those discussions will be too far away."
Clement on Burnley
"They are not in the relegation scrap at the moment, but with 12 games to go there are a lot of points to play for and they will be eager to get something against us.
"Their home record is excellent but their away record is not so good, so they will be desperate to work out why that is and to put it right.
"In the first game of the season, Swansea picked up what now looks like a fantastic away win at Burnley. It's our job to produce another good performance at home."
Clement on Luciano Narsingh's chances of landing a first Swans start
"He is pushing for a start. We will have to see whether that comes this weekend or not.
"I would say the same is true with Jordan Ayew."
Clement on Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty claim at Chelsea
"I saw the referee's report. It said the reason it wasn't given is Sigurdsson and (Cesar) Azpilicueta were too close together, but I have seen softer penalties than that one given."