Belfast Telegraph

Paul Clement believes Swansea survival would be the pinnacle of his career

Paul Clement believes keeping Swansea in the Premier League will be a bigger achievement than getting his hands on the Champions League trophy.

Clement was Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Real Madrid when the Spanish giants claimed their 10th European Cup in 2014 by beating city rivals Atletico.

But the 45-year-old - who was also Ancelotti's number two when Chelsea won the Premier League and FA Cup double in 2010 - says keeping Swansea in the top flight would be the highlight of his career.

Swansea were bottom of the Premier League with only 12 points from 19 games when Clement was appointed at the start of January.

But Saturday's 1-0 victory over Everton took them outside the relegation zone with two games left to play.

"I've been in a very privileged position in the past to have worked with some fantastic teams and different players and got my hands on some unbelievable silverware," Clement said.

"But this will be the best by far if we manage to stay in this league, because I'm the one making the decisions.

"I'm the one in charge and because of the position when I came into this club.

"It was difficult for the supporters and for the players.

"I was the third coach in one season, so it will be a fantastic achievement if we do it."

Swansea have one point more than 18th-placed Hull heading into their final two rounds of fixtures.

Hull's next game is at Crystal Palace - who are not yet clear of relegation danger themselves - and they finish at home to Tottenham, while Swansea end at home to West Brom after a trip to Sunderland.

And if it does come down to the final day against West Brom, then Clement expects the home crowd to make a difference.

"I have been with Real Madrid when there has been 85,000 there, and it is not as loud as that (the Liberty Stadium) because they tend to sit and watch," Clement said.

"If they are happy they will cheer, and if they are not they will show that.

"But the noise our fans made, from all the ends, was unbelievable.

"That helps the players when they are tired and the tanks are running on empty."

After Hull's shock 2-0 home defeat to already-relegated Sunderland, Swansea maintained their recent run of form.

"We have picked up seven points from games against Stoke, Manchester United and Everton and that's a tough run," Clement said.

"Now we go to Sunderland and I am glad they won.

"One because it helped us, but also because it shows we can not underestimate them."

Seventh-placed Everton have qualified for the Europa League next term but their season is in danger of fizzling out.

Everton's failure to score in south Wales saw them draw a blank in a third successive league match for the first time in 11 years.

Ross Barkley came on at half-time after being dropped to the bench and Ronald Koeman explained: "I was trying to find productivity in the team and he arrives in a different position.

"The diamond of Swansea meant we brought Gareth (Barry) in.

"I think we had control but then we needed to make decisions."

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