Swansea boss Alan Curtis hoping for long FA Cup run
Alan Curtis hopes to celebrate his appointment as full-time Swansea manager by starting a good FA Cup run at Oxford.
Curtis was promoted on Thursday from the caretaker position he has held since Garry Monk's departure on December 9 to a full-time role for the rest of the campaign.
Keeping Swansea in the Barclays Premier League for a sixth successive season is Curtis' main brief at the Liberty Stadium, but the 61-year-old believes victory on Sunday will boost everyone at the club.
"The Premier League has to be our main priority," Curtis said ahead of the third-round tie at the Kassam Stadium.
"But a cup run is always nice and we want to get back on a run now, so it is important that we start that this weekend.
"It will also enable a couple of players to have some game time in a fantastic competition.
"We have to have one eye on Wednesday's game (against Sunderland) so there will be changes.
"But whatever team we put out it will be a strong side.
"It will be a difficult game but I can think of worse places to go.
"Oxford play good football and have a nice stadium and we're looking forward to the challenge."
Curtis was handed the reins until the summer after Swansea aborted their mission to find a new manager from outside.
First-choice Brendan Rodgers, the former Swansea manager, chose to continue his break from the game after leaving Liverpool in October and ambitious plans to persuade former Argentina and Chile coach Marcelo Bielsa also floundered.
But Curtis, who has spent four decades at Swansea as player and coach, said he was delighted to be given the call to try and protect the club's top-flight status.
"I'm obviously delighted and very proud," Curtis said.
"We have to make sure the right man comes in and it looks like that will be a summer appointment now.
"But the most important thing is that we retain our Premier League status - that is our focus now.
"I've always felt there is enough ability in the squad, and part of the reason for me taking the job is the response I've had from the players and the fact results have picked up recently."
Curtis will rotate heavily for his first game in full-time charge and will stand down several first-team regulars, with Swansea hosting Sunderland in a crunch Barclays Premier League battle three days later.
Swedish goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt, central defenders Jordi Amat and Kyle Bartley and wide men Jefferson Montero and Modou Barrow are among those set to come in, while left-back Frank Tabanou and striker Eder will feature if they have recovered from respective thigh and ankle injuries.
Oxford will have to make do without on-loan striker Chris Maguire.
Maguire, who has scored once in six appearances for the Us, has been told by his parent club Rotherham he cannot play in the competition.
However, fellow loanee Jordan Evans has been given permission to play by Fulham.
Johnny Mullin overcame a foot injury to play in the 4-2 win over Notts County and came through with no ill affects so should be fit to go again.