Preparation is key for Pep

8th July

Assistant-manager Pep Clotet believes the Swans can never afford to take their eye off the ball if they want a long-term future in the Barclays Premier League.

Speaking during the club's pre-season training camp in America, Clotet declared: "This club must never sleep.

"The moment the club stops working hard is the moment it starts to slide. And the moment we stop preparing properly, then we will be preparing to fail.''

Clotet, 37, stepped in to assist Garry Monk at the end of last season when the Swans stalwart answered an SOS to take over in the hot-seat from the departing Michael Laudrup.

Despite having originally arrived at the club in October as a consultant overseeing the coaching development of the Academy, the first team step up is a senior role he has experienced before after helping Malmo win the Swedish championship in 2010 under manager Roland Nilsson.

"It's been a bit of a world wind few months,'' added Clotet. "The chairman brought me in to help feed into the Academy the ideas Roberto Martinez first introduce when he joined the club. That was basically to develop the same coaching philosophy throughout all the age groups - a style that was built on possession football.

"Then when Garry took over as manager I was asked to help with the first team. It was a difficult time because everything happened so fast and we were in a difficult position in the league.

"But everyone on the football staff put a great deal of effort and hard work into their jobs to give Garry all the support he needed and enable the players to achieve what they did in the end.''

That 12th-place finish in the Premier League helped Monk secure the manager's job on a permanent basis and allowed Clotet to spend the summer preparing in great detail for the new top-flight challenge that lies ahead.

And for a man who has gained experience coaching and managing in the likes of Sweden, Norway and Spain; it is preparation, analysis and methodology that are key to everything - along with hard work, of course.

"I feel comfortable in the role because I really believe I can help Garry and the team,'' he added. "Garry is a man with a lot of ideas - and I mean a lot. And as it's my job to help introduce those ideas into the team; let's just say he keeps me busy - very busy!

"But preparation is the most important thing for me and probably my best asset. Over the summer I've managed to analyse a lot of our games, something I couldn't really do much of last season because everything happened so quickly with the change of manager.

"I've analysed all of our players from last season. I've analysed, identified and classified their most common strengths and weaknesses and drawn up a training plan on how we can improve their game.

"It's important for a club like us to create value in our players, especially the younger ones, by improving their performances and physical attributes.

"As a manager, Garry understands mentally that the better we prepare then the better the team will perform.''

And Clotet is not prepared to fail - or let the club sleep for that matter!



Born just outside Barcelona, Pep - full-name Josep - played for his home-town club CF Igualada before injury curtailed his amateur career and led him to coaching children with local side UE Cornella.
He attained his Uefa Pro-licence in 2003 at the age of just 26 and joined La Liga outfit Espanyol where he was given responsibility for the Under-17 squad.
From there he progressed to the Under-19s where he won the Spanish championship, before stepping up to clinch promotion with the Reserves.
After five years with Espanyol, he became assistant-manager to Roland Nilsson at Malmo where he helped win the Swedish championship in 2010.
He joined fellow top-flight side Halmstads the following year as head coach before moving to Norway as head staff coach of Viking FK under manager Age Hareide.
There was a return to Spain in July 2012 as Pep was appointed Reserve team manager and talent developer at La Liga side Malaga where the club enjoyed one of its best campaigns with Champions League football.
It was Pep's ability to develop players for the first team at both Espanyol and Malaga that saw his reputation soar in football circles, including a spell as Director of the Catalonia Federation's Coaching School where he developed several high-profile courses for Pro-licence coaches