Belfast Telegraph

Neil Taylor says incoming Swansea boss Paul Clement faces an uphill battle

Neil Taylor admits Swansea face an uphill battle to stay in the Premier League despite the impending arrival of Paul Clement as the club's new manager.

Swansea suffered a fourth straight defeat in losing 3-0 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, and at the halfway point of the season they lie bottom with only 12 points from 19 games.

Former Derby boss Clement is expected to leave his post as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Bayern Munich in the next 48 hours to become the third manager at Swansea this season.

Clement should be in the stands at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, taking a watching brief as caretaker Alan Curtis tries to restore morale to a side which has conceded 13 goals in four games and 44 in total this term.

"I've met him briefly and he's got great credentials as a coach," Taylor said of Clement, who has worked alongside Ancelotti at Chelsea, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern.

"If it is to be Clement the boys will work as hard as they can and hopefully he can help to turn it around. But we know how difficult it's going to be.

"We realise the performances that we're giving are not of a good standard and we're a team with very low confidence at the moment. We've got to be honest about that.

"We're about to go into our third manager in six months, which is never a good sign, and it's going to be an uphill battle."

Having succeeded Francesco Guidolin at the start of October, Bob Bradley spent only 85 days as Swansea manager - the joint-second shortest reign in Premier League history.

Bradley was sacked after the 4-1 Boxing Day home defeat to West Ham, but Swansea were just as disjointed against Bournemouth with their flimsy defence again crumbling with ease.

Swansea remain four points from safety, but Tuesday's opponents Palace have a game in hand.

"The worst thing about it is we're so close to being able to get out of it if you put a couple of wins together," said full-back Taylor.

"But at the moment we don't look like anywhere near winning. We're not getting beat in the last minute, we're losing games in a really poor manner.

"It's the psychological factor of being at the bottom and the manner of the way we're losing which is having an effect on everyone. It must be horrendous for the fans.

"We've been so far away from this for the last 10 years as a football club, so it's hurting absolutely everybody.

"I feel for the whole football club at the moment and I'm including the players, because there's a severe lack of confidence out there."

Bournemouth, by contrast, head into 2017 in good shape after climbing into 10th spot with 24 points at the halfway mark.

Goals from Benik Afobe, Ryan Fraser and Josh King gave the Cherries their biggest-ever away win in the Premier League and provided a confidence boost ahead of Arsenal's visit on Tuesday.

"It's a great platform for us, halfway through the season and we're halfway up the league," defender Charlie Daniels said.

"It's a great starting point going into the new year and this is the time where we have to build on it.

"If we can eradicate mistakes and play as well as we have done here then there's no reason we can't finish in the top 10.

"We believe in ourselves and we believe we've got a great squad to finish in the top half of the table."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph