Fernando Llorente urges Swansea to stay strong in battle to avoid drop

16 April 2017 01:09

Fernando Llorente insists Swansea must keep their heads up if they are to battle out of the Premier League relegation zone.

The Swans are two points adrift of safety after they lost 1-0 at Watford on Saturday and remain 18th in the table.

Etienne Capoue hit the winner for the hosts after stealing possession off a dawdling Alfie Mawson on the edge of the Swansea box just minutes before half-time.

With just five games remaining, manager Paul Clement believes his side may need to win as many as three of them to ensure survival.

But Swansea have now lost five of their last six games, with the visit of Stoke next weekend labelled a "must win" by Clement.

And Llorente, Swansea's top goalscorer with 11 so far this season, knows the players cannot let recent form play on their minds against the Potters.

"We have to keep working hard and it is important now that we keep our heads up," he said.

"It is important we stay strong at home. We have done well at the Liberty Stadium and we have to do that again now. The game against Stoke is a massive match and we have to win.

"We are all disappointed not to have got anything from this game (against Watford), but we have an important match at home against Stoke City next weekend and we will need to take the fight to them."

Match-winner Capoue, who after last week's 4-0 loss at Tottenham told Press Association Sport that two wins would be enough to secure survival, is now looking up rather than down after an important victory.

"Every day is nice in our dressing room but today is special," he told the club's official website.

"We have reached 40 points and now we can play, the people at the bottom we have pushed away and now we can look forward.

"Three points is the most important now. It is the last games to stay in the Premier League and reach a very good position and we did that."

Capoue hit his sixth goal of the season to secure the three points but it was his first since a 2-1 win over champions Leicester in November.

While the France international was pleased to get back among the goals he also heralded the Hornets defence for keeping Swansea at bay after last weekend's lacklustre display at White Hart Lane.

"It is a long time since I scored," he said. "I tried to challenge the central defender, I pressed him and tried to score and I did it.

"Defensively we did very well, our defenders were strong and it is good for the confidence, a clean sheet is one of the most important things. We played against a team that wanted to survive."

Source: PA