We weren't good enough, says Clement

10th September 2017
First team

Paul Clement admitted Swansea City must do better after a disappointing home defeat against Newcastle United.

The Swans were short of their best on a day when they had plenty of possession but lacked any attacking threat.

Tammy Abraham had the hosts’ best chance, when he rounded keeper Rob Eliot but saw his effort cleared off the line by Jamaal Lascelles.

Jordan Ayew, Tom Carroll and Luciano Narsingh also had shots saved, while Alfie Mawson nodded just wide.

Newcastle’s opportunities were few and far between, although Joselu came closer than anyone in the first half as his header forced a brilliant stop from Lukasz Fabianski.

And it was the visitors who snatched victory 14 minutes from the end when Lascelles climbed highest to nod Matt Ritchie’s corner into the net.

A frustrated Clement struggled to explain his team’s performance – and accepted that they must improve fast.

“I am very disappointed with the way we played,” said the Swans manager, “and I am not quite sure why it turned out like that given the feeling we had going into the game.

“The way we prepared on the training field, in the gym and in the meeting room was good. The atmosphere around the group was very positive.

“But then there was the performance. I am finding it difficult to understand why I saw what I saw.

“Although the margin of defeat was very small and the goal came from a set-play, for me the difference between the two teams was greater than that.

“They played better than us. They were more combative in the duels, in first phase and second balls. For me they deserved the victory.”

The Swans had gone into this game in upbeat mood following away victories at MK Dons and Crystal Palace.

The signings of Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony had further lifted the mood, but the new boys could not save their side from defeat.

“From a technical point of view, we made too many mistakes,” Clement added.

“We gave the ball away too often. Even right at the end, we could not get a decent ball into the box.

“Our shape didn’t cause them enough problems. We had the overload in midfield but we never got control of the game.

“Some of the basics we didn’t get right, like being competitive.

“Some individual players were not at their level and ultimately it was collectively, with me at the top of that.

“I said to the players that there’s no crisis. We haven’t played well, but it’s very early on and we have got new faces who need to be integrated.

“But at the same time, we have to wake up quickly. This league is very unforgiving and we have to deliver.

“We are going to have to play very well if we are going to get anything at Wembley (against Tottenham) next week.”