Paul Clement focused on Swansea's survival fight after winning managerial award

10 February 2017 11:09

Swansea boss Paul Clement has welcomed the Barclays manager of the month award by focusing on the battle for Premier League survival.

Clement beat Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham), Ronald Koeman (Everton) and Mark Hughes (Stoke) to the January award after Swansea won three of their four league games following his appointment at the start of the month.

Victories over Crystal Palace, Liverpool - Swansea's first-ever league win at Anfield - and Southampton took the Welsh club off the bottom of the table and outside the relegation zone.

"I was a little bit surprised in a good way (to win the award), but I am pleased the impact has been recognised," Clement said.

"It's a nice recognition of the work everyone has done this month.

"The players, most importantly, the backroom staff, but also the fans as well, getting behind the team and showing a real positive attitude towards supporting the team.

"They have been a big help b ut I will be judged at the end of May, that's what I'm very conscious of.

"I've got a lot of work to do. It's nice to this point, but it won't mean anything if at the end of the season we haven't achieved our objective."

Swansea face a massive relegation showdown against reigning champions Leicester at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Both clubs lie a point above the relegation zone on 21 points, although Swansea's recent form is in stark contrast to a Leicester side who have lost their last four league games.

While Clement was keen to avoid talk of the curse that supposedly goes with the manager of the month award - "I don't want to hear about that", he quipped - the former Derby boss accepts the relegation fight is shaping up to be a dramatic affair.

"There will not be a team in that region of the table that do not think they can do it and stay up," Clement said.

"The points are so tightly packed together now from 17th, 16th, even going a bit higher now.

"It all depends on how results go. We are one of the last fixtures on the weekend, so we will know how the other results have gone going into our game.

"But the most important thing is we have had a free week to plan and prepare, both on the training field and in the video room, and we need to make best use of that."

Jordan Ayew joins the Swansea squad for the first time following his move from Aston Villa last month.

Ayew helped Ghana reach the semi-finals of the African Nations Cup, and Clement hopes the forward has the same impact that fellow January signings Martin Olsson, Tom Carroll and Luciano Narsingh have had.

"They are a cohesive group and get on with each other," Clement said.

"The new players have fitted in and been welcomed into the dressing room, and I have been welcomed in by staff and players.

"They have taken on board methods we use, we have had good results and that all helps."

Source: PA


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