'We can achieve what we want'

31st March 2018
First team

Carlos Carvalhal reckons Swansea City have shown they are ready to secure Premier League survival despite defeat at Manchester United.

The Swans suffered only their third Premier League loss under Carvalhal thanks largely to a slow start at Old Trafford.

Romelu Lukaku put the hosts in front after just five minutes when his deflected effort flew beyond Lukasz Fabianski.

And the Swans keeper was helpless again when Jesse Lingard found Alexis Sanchez and, after the offside flag stayed down, the Chilean drilled home.

The visitors improved significantly after the break, with David De Gea making two fine saves to deny the Swans a possible route back into the contest.

And though he was disappointed with defeat, Carvalhal reckons his side showed in the second period that they have the ability to avoid relegation.

“The way we played in the second half was the way we have played since I came in,” said the Swans boss.

“That is the way we are used to playing and, if we can do that at Old Trafford, we can do it anywhere.

“What we must do now is keep the momentum going. If we play like we did in the second half for the rest of the season, we will achieve what we want to achieve this season.”

United boss Jose Mourinho described his team’s first-half performance as one of their best under his stewardship.

And Carvalhal acknowledged that the Swans had found it hard to cope with Mourinho’s men before the break.

“I think Manchester United deserved the win,” Carvalhal added.

“In the first half they played very strongly and with high intensity. We found it difficult to control (Paul) Pogba and (Nemanja) Matic.

“We couldn’t get enough pressure on them and because we didn’t, we played too much near our area.

“With the players they have between the lines, they caused us problems. When we won the ball we wanted to attack, but they closed us down very fast.”

Carvalhal replaced Nathan Dyer and Ki Sung-Yueng with Tammy Abraham and Tom Carroll at the break, while Wayne Routledge soon entered the fray as Sam Clucas limped off.

The changes helped the Swans turn the game into much more of a contest after the break.

“We were not happy at half-time and we moved things,” Carvalhal added.

“We put on Carroll and Tammy and we corrected some things.

“Tammy did very well – he affected the game – and Carroll gave us more dynamic in midfield. Also Wayne came on and gave us individual quality.

“We tried to press Pogba and Matic more and we then started to create some problems for them. They started to lose the ball and we started to play more in the offensive third.

“There are big moments in games and De Gea made two fantastic saves which were very important.

“If we score then, I don’t know if we will draw or win, but I know we will make Old Trafford nervous.

“At the end I am not happy with the score, but I am very happy with the second-half performance.”