Clement wary of more twists in relegation battle

Swansea City manager Paul Clement holding up two fingers at the Swansea City v Everton match at  Liberty Stadium on Saturday (May 6) to represent the final two games left to play.
Swansea City manager Paul Clement holding up two fingers at the Swansea City v Everton match at Liberty Stadium on Saturday (May 6) to represent the final two games left to play.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Paul Clement hailed his players' spirit, determination and perseverance after Swansea City beat Everton 1-0 on Saturday to climb out of the English Premier League's relegation zone.

The Swansea manager described it as a "fantastic" win as they capitalised on Hull's surprise 2-0 home defeat by already-relegated Sunderland, but Clement also warned there would be no complacency among his players now that their fate is in their own hands.

Fernando Llorente scored the winner on a tense evening in south Wales as Swansea stood firm in the face of some late Everton pressure.

"It's a fantastic win for us at this point of the season when the stakes are so high," said Clement.

"I thought our supporters were unbelievable getting behind our players. We got pinned back in the second half but it was a magnificent collective effort defensively to get the right result."

Although he insisted that Hull's defeat did not change Swansea's approach, he admitted that it gave his team a huge incentive.

"I think what it says to everyone is: 'We have an opportunity, don't waste it.' That was the case and it ended up being a positive weekend, but we know how quickly it can swing the other way," he said.

"We have to make sure now that we are absolutely focused to get a good result next weekend at Sunderland."

Everton manager Ronald Koeman admitted that Swansea were more motivated and that his side did not take their chances.

"The attitude of our players was good, but in the last few games we have had more problems creating and scoring goals. We haven't scored in our past three games now and that's a problem," the Dutchman told the club's official website.

"They were fighting for their lives in defending and keeping a clean sheet."

Swansea are on 35 points in 17th place with two games left. Hull occupy the last relegation spot. They are 18th with 34 points and have two games left as well.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2017, with the headline 'Clement wary of more twists in relegation battle'. Print Edition | Subscribe