'Swans must fight back'

13th May
First team

Carlos Carvalhal believes the challenge for Swansea City is to return to the Premier League as quickly as possible after their relegation to the Championship was confirmed.

The Swans’ slim hopes of a final-day miracle came to nothing as they were beaten 2-1 by Stoke City.

The result means the Swans’ seven-year stay in the Premier League is over – and Carvalhal says the challenge now is to get back to the top flight.

“This is a massive club – a fantastic club with great organisation,” he said.

“The fans are superb and the city is amazing. I would really like to thank the people for the way they have welcomed me and my staff here.

“This really is a good club and they must come back to the Premier League as soon as possible.”

Carvalhal was frustrated to see his team sign off with a fifth successive defeat.

Andy King put the Swans in front, but Badou Ndiaye and Peter Crouch made it 2-1 to Stoke by half-time.

Stoke missed the chance to go 3-1 up when Lukasz Fabianski saved Xherdan Shaqiri’s penalty early in the second half, and the Swans created enough chances to equalise after that but could not take any of them.

“I think we can all agree that the commitment and attitude of the team was at a maximum,” Carvalhal added.

“We fought and played to the limit. We had chances but didn’t score, but we did our best – me and the players.

“I think we have done things on the limit. I am completely exhausted – I need a holiday because we pushed the players a lot.”

The Stoke defeat means the Swans took 20 points from Carvalhal’s 18 league games in charge.

And the Portuguese reckons the Swans’ relegation is down to the return of 13 points from the 20 games before he took over.

“We achieved more points in the last 18 games than Stoke, Huddersfield, Southampton, West Brom, Watford and Brighton and we got the same number as Leicester,” he added.

“But the 13 points from the first 20 games made things difficult.

“In the last eight or nine games we have not won. I think when we started we won a lot of games, but after that we were not surprising opponents anymore.

“But even then, we should have got more against Everton and also against Chelsea. They were two games which could have made a difference.”