'We will do all we can to progress'
Carlos Carvalhal reckons Swansea City have a “30 per cent chance” of pulling off an Emirates FA Cup shock when they face Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
But though his team are the underdogs heading into Saturday’s quarter-final clash at the Liberty Stadium, Carvalhal is adamant the Swans can reach the last four.
To some extent, Carvalhal’s hands are tied when it comes to team selection, with Jordan Ayew suspended and Andre Ayew and Andy King both ineligible to play in the cup.
They join Angel Rangel, Renato Sanches, Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony on a significant list of Swans absentees – but Carvalhal is upbeat nevertheless.
“Tottenham are a very, very hard team to play against,” he said.
“They lose very few games, and this is a David and Goliath tie.
“But I think we are better now than when we played them in the league (in early January).
“Then, we had maybe a 90 per cent chance of beating them. Now I think maybe we have a 30 per cent chance because we are playing better, but there’s still a big gap between the teams.
“Swansea have not won against Tottenham since 1991 I think, and Tottenham will want to win this trophy more after going out of the Champions League.
“But as I have said before, what matters is what happens on the pitch. Two teams play against each other and we will try to exploit the few weak points they have.
“One thing for sure is that we will be ready. We have had a week to prepare for the game and I trust my players a lot. I believe we can get through and we will do everything we can to do that.”
The Swans’ hopes of progressing to what would be only a third FA Cup semi-final in their history have been boosted by the news that top scorer Harry Kane will miss out for Spurs through injury.
But with the likes of Fernando Llorente and Son Heung-Min available to Mauricio Pochettino, Carvalhal does not feel Tottenham will be significantly weakened.
“Last week they were losing 1-0 when Kane came off injured and they won 4-1,” he pointed out.
“Of course he is a fantastic striker – I like him a lot – but the big teams can replace good players with good players.
“We are without a lot of players for this game and that makes a big difference for us, but at the big clubs like Tottenham they have substitutes for every position.”