Split loyalties for Swans staff

6th July 2018
First team

There will be a split on the Swansea City staff – for a couple of hours at least – when England take on Sweden in the World Cup quarter-final this weekend.

Gareth Southgate’s English side will do battle with Janne Andersson’s Swedes in Samara on Saturday afternoon.

In South Wales, meantime, new Swans boss Graham Potter and assistant coach Bjorn Hamberg will be watching on with interest.

Solihull-born Potter is a former England Under-21 international, though he also has a soft spot for Sweden having worked in the Scandinavian country for seven years.

Hamberg, meantime, is a fully-fledged Sweden fan having been born and raised in Ostersund.“I will be watching the game, but I probably won’t watch it with Bjorn just to protect our friendship!” Potter said.

“It’s a great game for me. Obviously I am an Englishman, for my sins, but I have had seven years in Sweden, which is a fantastic country I have strong feelings for.

“I think England may just have enough to win it, but I think it will be tight.

“Sweden play the underdog role really well and they have a collective understanding of how they play. They may not have the best individual players, but collectively they have done really well.”

Hamberg has followed Potter to SA1 having previously been part of his staff during a hugely successful period for Ostersund.

The Swans are training on Saturday morning, but thoughts will turn to the World Cup come mid-afternoon.

“It is a huge game in Sweden and everyone back home will be watching,” Hamberg said.

“The feeling back home was that we wouldn’t do so well in the World Cup, but now we have a chance to be in the semi-final. It is unbelievable.

“I think it will be a very tight game. Sweden are strong defensively so England will find it difficult to break them down.

“It would be amazing if Sweden were to win – and even better if Martin Olsson scores the winner!

“We will be training tomorrow and I’ll probably watch the game in Fairwood.

“I’m not sure if Graham will be watching it with me, but I’m sure the winner will quickly be texting the other soon after the final whistle.”