Swansea City boss Bob Bradley is ready for the fight
8th December 2016
Bob Bradley insists he is ready to fight to turn Swansea City's season around ahead of the biggest game of his brief Liberty reign.
The Swans, who slipped to the bottom of the Premier League after last week's heavy defeat at Tottenham Hotspur, take on 18th-placed Sunderland this weekend.
Bradley acknowledges the significance of the game - and stresses that whatever goes on outside the club, his only focus is on trying to improve his team's fortunes.
"A long time ago I said to my wife that I had a meeting, and she asked me if I would still have a job afterwards," said the Swans boss.
"I said 'Who knows?'. That's football. You go in every day and at any moment the club can say 'We need to make a change'.
"But if you worry about that, the players will spit you out fast. They will see through you.
"If I am telling the players they have to look adversity in the eye and have some courage, then I have got to do that too.
"I continue to work in every possible way to help us improve, and I will put my arms around these guys and say 'Come on, you can do it'.
"I am going to keep fighting. That's how I work.
"At the end of the day all that matters in this job is that you get results.
"Results are hard to come by when you take over a team who have been struggling, and results when you do that in the Premier League are even harder to come by.
"But that's what I signed up for when I took the job. I knew when I came in this was going to be a big test and it still is, but that's no problem."
Bradley revealed that though he is back working on the training ground, Ki Sung-Yueng will not be involved against former club Sunderland because of a toe injury.
Federico Fernandez will also miss out again after breaking his toe, but the Swans have no new fitness concerns.
"I know when you lose a game by the scoreline that we lost by last weekend, it looks bad for the supporters and for confidence and there's a lot there to jump on," Bradley added.
"But I also know we are not the first team in the history of the Premier League to be beaten by a scoreline that's got away from them.
"Now we have to turn it around. We have to step on the field to play against a team who are around us in the table and look to win.
"For sure this feels like the biggest game since I came in."
Bradley suggested his team selection for the Sunderland clash will be based on the attitude shown by his players in the wake of the Spurs reverse.
"We had a little run of games where we were quite consistent and in a perfect world we would like to continue that," he said.
"But a loss like Tottenham means we have got to look hard again.
"When you go into a big game like this - in a way a cup final for us - you have got to make sure you have a group of guys who will be ready for that kind of challenge.
"That's the work that goes on all week - talking to the guys and watching them to see which ones are not fazed by the challenge."
Bradley on the aftermath of Tottenham
"A lot of work has gone on this week to make sure we don't lose sight of the positives while acknowledging that some things have to be better.
"We have reminded the players that they took four points from the two games before Spurs and there some things we felt good about after those two games."
Bradley on his team's defensive record
"It has to improve. We have to defend better in all areas. We are not going to survive if we continue to concede the number of goals we have. You don't have to be a genius to see that.
"There have been moments along the way where I have felt we have made a step in the right direction, but there has to be more consistency."
Bradley on Jermain Defoe
"Everyone knows he has made a career out of savviness in the way he moves and lethal finishing.
"He still finds those little cracks and those little chinks. If you allow him to do that, he scores goals.
"He is a striker who lives off the tiniest bit of space, so we have to be aware of where he is and close him down."
Bradley on his January transfer plans
"I think we need to improve from back to front. I think we could use a defender, another guy who we can count on week-in, week-out.
"I also think we can add a midfielder and an attacker. In every case I am talking about players who can come and hit the ground running and make an impact.
"We need players who are ready to jump in with the others and say 'Count me in'."