'We hope for a positive step'

3rd August 2018
First team

Graham Potter is targeting a positive start to a new era at Swansea City when the club’s Championship campaign kicks off this weekend.

Potter takes charge of a competitive game for the first time since arriving from Swedish club Ostersund in June when the Swans go to Sheffield United on Saturday (5.30pm).

It is a fresh beginning for the Swans, who have seen a number of players come and go following relegation from the Premier League last season.

And while his new-look team face a tough test against a side who came close to reaching the play-offs in the spring, Potter is hoping to get off on the right foot.

“We have to focus on ourselves,” said the Swans boss.

“We have had a lot to do, trying to get the group together and the team together during what has been a period of transition.

“We understand how difficult the game against Sheffield United is going to be. It’s the opening day away from home against a club who did really well last year.

“But we need to be ready. It’s our first step as a team and we hope it will be a positive one.”

Despite last year’s successes, Blades boss Chris Wilder is calling for further progress at Bramall Lane this season.

United only return to the second tier in 2017, when they won the League One title, but for a long time they were contenders to secure back-to-back promotions.

And Potter is an admirer of the work done by Wilder in South Yorkshire.

“We know we are in for a really tough game,” Potter added.

“They had a good season last year and full credit to Chris, who has organised his team very well.

“They can mix it up. They have good possession but they can also play to the strikers and use the width of the pitch really well.

“They have a well-thought out and well-balanced squad so it will be a tough test for us, but we need to be ready for the challenge.”