Paul Clement: Swansea City will have a big chance
2nd February 2017
Paul Clement reckons Swansea City will have "a big chance" of staying in the Premier League if they maintain the form shown in his first month in charge.
The Swans have won two of the three Premier League games they have played under Clement's guidance, while they also triumphed at Crystal Palace on the day he was appointed.
Those three victories have come in four top-flight outings. Yet in the 19 league fixtures the Swans played this season before Clement was unveiled, there had been only three more wins.
It has been quite a turnaround in fortunes for a team who looked in deep trouble after back-to-back home defeats against West Ham and Bournemouth over Christmas.
And ahead of Sunday's tricky trip to Manchester City, Clement believes the Swans can achieve their survival goal if they keep up the good work.
"We know we have still got 15 games to go and there is a very hard one next at Manchester City," the head coach said.
"There's a lot of football to be played this season, a lot of training sessions to get through and a lot of hard work still to be done.
"Sunderland, Hull, Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough, Leicester and ourselves all have the belief and we are all working very hard to stay in this league.
"At the moment it looks like three out of those six clubs, but in a couple of weeks' time it could be three from four or five or even seven or eight.
"We just have to take each week as it comes. If we keep going the way we are, we will have a big chance."
Club skipper Leon Britton has returned to training after a calf problem and could come into contention for the City game, while the Swans hope deadline-day signing Jordan Ayew, who is away at the Africa Cup of Nations, will arrive at the club early next week.
Clement accepts a visit to the Etihad Stadium will represent a major test for his team - but insists they must target more progress.
"We are very happy with the result the other night, although the performance was mixed," he added.
"We are working hard to improve performances all the time, and that's what we are looking for going into this game.
"Manchester City are a very strong side who had a fantastic result against West Ham last night. They have a lot of talent from the goalkeeper to the front players, and also on the bench.
"West Ham was one of the best performances they have produced this season from what I have seen.
"That will give them confidence, and we will have to be at our very best.
"It's a big challenge for us, but we felt that going to Liverpool, who were another team going well, scoring a lot of goals and in title contention."
Clement on Frank Lampard's retirement - and talk of him joining the Swans
"I would have liked to have him here. I would be lying if I said I didn't try, but I think he was already moving towards the decision he has made today.
"He is one of the most outstanding goalscoring midfielders world football has seen.
"We had a chat (about him joining Swansea) and I think he appreciated the call, but I am not saying it got close to happening.
"He did say that he really enjoyed the time he spent here as a youngster. It was a long time ago, but he was fond of the club and the people who were here. It was part of his education."
Clement on Jordan Ayew
"He is a very positive option for us. He is hungry and he is proving what he is capable with Ghana at the moment.
"His performances at Aston Villa were mixed I think, but we see him as someone who has talent and who can have a big impact here.
"He is quick, he can run with the ball and he can score goals."
Clement on Pep Guardiola
"I have no doubt at all that he will be a success in the Premier League.
"He is a great coach. I spoke to lots of the Bayern Munich players about his training methods, his approach to games and his tactical awareness, and everything was very, very positive.
"You can also see that from the outside. I think it's brilliant for the Premier League that he is here along with some of the other top European coaches."
Clement on the decision to stick with his centre-backs
"We looked at it and we explored a number of possibilities (in terms of signings), but the ones that were realistic for us I don't think were better than what we have already, so we stayed the same."