Belfast Telegraph

Paul Clement excited by Swansea 'challenge'

New Swansea boss Paul Clement has his sights fixed on Premier League survival after revealing his desire to become a head coach again.

Clement gave up trophy-chasing ambitions as Bayern Munich assistant manager to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Premier League's bottom club.

But Clement - who missed out on the Swansea job when Bob Bradley was appointed in October - says he is determined to restore the club's traditional football values and keep them in the top flight.

"I'm delighted to be here," Clement told the official club website.

"I had a brief spell as head coach not too long ago at Derby. It was a role I enjoyed thoroughly before I went to Bayern Munich as assistant manager.

"But my real desire and ambition was to become a head coach again as quickly as possible, so I am absolutely delighted to be here at Swansea and a Premier League manager.

"I would like to think my footballing philosophy goes hand in hand with the club's.

"That's part of the reason the club chose me and a big part of the reason why I wanted to come to the club.

"Over recent years there has been a certain style Swansea fans have been used to seeing.

"Maybe that hasn't been there so much over recent times, but hopefully I will be able to put my imprint on the team very quickly and the fans will be able to see some good football - most importantly some winning football."

Clement will have a watching brief when Swansea play fellow strugglers Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, with caretaker boss Alan Curtis in charge at Selhurst Park.

Swansea are currently bottom of the Premier League with 12 points from 19 games, having won three games all season.

Only West Brom in 2004-05 have recovered from a worse position at the halfway stage of the campaign to survive, but Clement feels Swansea can defy the odds.

"It is a massive challenge; there's no other way to put it," Clement said.

"But challenges are exciting and that's why I came here. I could have stayed at Bayern as an assistant, but I've chosen to come into a very challenging situation.

"It excites me to do that and that's the attitude I want the players to have.

"It's a big task, but I think it can be done."

Clement has worked as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Chelsea, Paris St Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern.

But his only managerial experience at Derby lasted eight months and ended with the sack in February 2016.

The 44-year-old follows Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley at the Liberty Stadium this season, his American predecessor's 11-game reign being the joint-second shortest in Premier League history.

Bradley's appointment did not go down well with supporters already upset by the club's summer takeover by an American consortium led by Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien.

But chairman Huw Jenkins declared Clement a "good fit" for Swansea - the club having appointed the likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup in the past.

"Paul has not only worked with some of Europe's biggest football clubs, but also the very best players in the world," Jenkins said.

"Swansea City's strength over many years had been the quality of the football coached on the training field. That has always been at the forefront of our success.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Paul can not only help us regain that footballing belief, but also restore some much needed pride back into the football club.

"Everyone connected to the club is fully behind the appointment and we see this a typical Swansea City choice.

"It looks a good fit to get us back on track and provide one of the best young coaches in Europe with the chance to develop his own career and become a leading coach in his own right."

Joining Clement in south Wales will be Nigel Gibbs as assistant coach and Karl Halabi as head of physical performance.

Gibbs, 51, leaves his role within the Tottenham academy and has previously worked as the number two at Reading, Leeds and Millwall, while Halabi also moves from Spurs.

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