Top tactics have worked wonders, says Jazz
13th May 2015
Jazz Richards believes the Swans have shown both style and substance during their finest Barclays Premier League campaign.
Garry Monk's side claimed the club's fifth league double of the season on Monday night as substitute Bafe Gomis' header proved the difference against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The Swans opted to name a starting XI without a recognised striker, with Gomis not deemed fit enough to play from the start following his return from a hamstring injury.
With Monk also introducing a midfield diamond approach to the club's options this season, Richards believes the Swans' different tactics have played a massive part in this season's success story.
"This season we have unearthed a few more game plans. It's not just a plan A that we have now," said the Wales international, who has made 11 appearances this season for the Swans.
"The style has changed a little and the squad has adapted to different situations, and that makes you a more successful team.
"The midfield diamond has brought a new dimension, while the tactics at Arsenal were different too. You have to applaud the manager and his staff for looking into that and identifying new styles to help the club continue to move forward.
"To have 56 points with two games to go is a fantastic achievement. It's the gaffer's first full season in charge while there was quite a turnaround in players this season - plus (Wilfried) Bony left in January - so to get to this level is unbelievable."
Richards came off the bench at the Emirates Stadium to make his first appearance for the Swans since returning from a loan spell at Championship club Fulham.
The 24-year-old replaced Angel Rangel on the hour mark, with the right-back slotting straight into a determined defence that was backed up by man-of-the-match Lukasz Fabianski.
He added: "I could hear Angel shouting something to the bench, so I had to get ready straight away and be mentally prepared.
"It's not easy going into a game like that, but the manager made it clear what my job was and I did my best for the team.
"The loan spell at Fulham means I am match fit, but the game against Arsenal was obviously a much higher level than what I was coming up against in the Championship.
"But those are the types of games you want to be a part of.
"The boys worked really hard and threw their bodies in front of everything, so to get the goal late on and three points was a massive reward for the effort the whole team put in."