'We don't want another season like the last'
Alfie Mawson will line up against Manchester United this weekend intent on ensuring Swansea City avoid another season of struggle.
The Swans kicked off 2017-18 by scrapping their way to a valuable goalless draw at Southampton.
Having failed to hit top form at St Mary’s, Paul Clement’s men play their first home game of the new campaign against a United side who are being tipped to contend for the title this season.
But Mawson is targeting the Red Devils’ scalp as he sets about ensuring his second year as a Swan is less stressful than the first.
“My big hope for this season is that we won’t be in the same position as we were last season,” Mawson said.
“We did really well at the end of last year, getting a lot of points when it really mattered.
“But we don’t want to have that pressure of knowing we have to win to stay up in every game we play.
“We want to play well this season and worry about what’s above us, not what’s below. We want to play good football and push up the league.”
The Swans were well beaten by United on their own patch last season.
Yet in the return fixture in April, Clement’s side claimed a creditable 1-1 draw – and felt they were unfortunate not to win.
And while the Swans did not fire on all cylinders last Saturday, Mawson feels they can take confidence from their performance at Old Trafford in the spring.
“It’s our first home game of the season and it’s going to be a big test,” the centre-back added.
“We know we didn’t play as well as we should have at Southampton, but nevertheless we picked up a good point away from home.
“United produced a very strong performance against West Ham at home, but it’s different when you go away and we are going to try to make it difficult for them.
“We made it a fortress at home at the end of last season and we want to try to carry on that home form this year, because that was the key to making sure we stayed up.
“We were not good enough at home against them last season, but arguably we should have won up there.
“Certain things went against us that day. Hopefully we can reproduce that sort of performance this weekend.”
Mawson reckons a sell-out Liberty crowd can play a part in ensuring the Swans build on the Saints draw.
He said: “We know it will be tough against United but with the fans behind us, we will give our all to get some more points on the board.
“Our fans were massive for us at the back-end of last season, it was a joy to play in front of them.
“They help us through. Sometimes they might think they go unnoticed, but if you hear your name chanted or get a roar from the crowd, it’s something else.”
* In a bid to improve the supporter experience on matchdays at the Liberty Stadium, the club will be erecting additional fencing outside the East Stand – on the red tarmac.
This will allow supporters to take food and drink outside at half-time at future games to ease congestion in the concourse areas.