Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

I am ready for relegation battle, says Swansea's new boss Bradley

Published 20/10/2016

Swansea manager Bob Bradley accepts his new club is in a relegation battle.
Swansea manager Bob Bradley accepts his new club is in a relegation battle.

Bob Bradley accepts Swansea are in a relegation battle but believes he can draw on his experience in Norwegian football to keep the club in the Premier League.

Swansea slipped into the bottom three after Bradley's first game in charge last weekend, a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal.

Asked if Swansea were in a relegation fight ahead of his first home game against Watford on Saturday, Bradley said: "Yes. But let me be very clear when I say that.

"If you look at the way the team has played in recent years, you can easily say this is a team that has shown itself to be a mid-table-type team with the possibility of being in the top 10.

"It's not as if that idea has been forgotten, but I also know the history.

"I know how important it is to be in the Premier League when a team has a tough start, there's been a managerial change and we see where we are in the table.

"Whether we're in a relegation fight for two more weeks, four more weeks, six more weeks, it depends.

"If we can get on a good run and start to get confidence I doubt whether that's going to be a question I face every week.

"But in the meantime it's our job to get on a run and re-establish ourselves."

Former United States manager Bradley certainly enjoyed the winning habit at his first European club.

Bradley took charge at Stabaek following their promotion to the top flight in Norway in 2013 and guided the unfashionable Baerum-based club into the Europa League.

Drawing parallels with Swansea's situation, he said: "It (relegation) was a big topic in my first year at Stabaek.

"The team had just come up from the second league where the goal was simply to stay up after promotion, because every expert in Norway said, 'This team is going down'.

"We started well in our first eight or nine matches, but then we had a little dip.

"I don't think we went into the relegation zone, but nonetheless the press said, 'Here we go, we knew it was coming'.

"I remember telling the team not to read anything or listen to anyone because none of those people watch us train every day or see what we're all about.

"The situations are similar, but I understand the spotlight in the Premier League is bigger, and you have the history of a club like Swansea City and being in the Premier League and what it means for the community and the supporters. I understand how important it is to make us better."

Bradley took time out from his schedule this week to meet members of the club's supporters' trust.

The trust own 21 per cent of the club and some supporters were unhappy with the decision of Swansea's American owners to sack Bradley's predecessor Francesco Guidolin.

"For me it was great. They offered strong opinions and I accept that," Bradley said of his meeting with trust members.

"But they also went out of their way to say, 'You have a big job but we welcome you and we're here to support you'.

"They shoot straight and made it clear their expectations on and off the field.

"But they totally dismissed some of the hype that I'm not wanted or there are things held against me at the start. They squashed that immediately."

Press Association

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph