Belfast Telegraph

Paul Clement hopes his insight into Pep Guardiola's methods help Swansea

Paul Clement hopes his insight into Pep Guardiola's coaching methods will help Swansea's revival continue at Manchester City on Sunday.

Swansea boss Clement worked with the group of players Guardiola left behind at Bayern Munich after becoming Carlo Ancelotti's assistant in Bavaria last summer.

And Clement feels Guardiola is heading in the right direction again after City's 4-0 midweek demolition of West Ham moved them to within a point of second place in the Premier League.

"I spoke to a lot of the Bayern players about his (Guardiola's) methods," said Clement.

"The way he approached the games, his tactical awareness. Everything was very positive, but you could see that from the outside.

"He's a great coach, very innovative, and I have no doubt he will be a success here.

"He started very strongly before having a slight dip in results and performances.

"But it looks like they're back on track after the West Ham game.

"It was one of their best games of the season, and they were very strong in transition with a young and athletic front three."

Clement has history with Guardiola from his time working as the number two at Chelsea and Real Madrid.

He has fond memories of Real's 5-0 Champions League semi-final aggregate victory over Guardiola's Bayern in 2014, which included a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired 4-0 thrashing at the Allianz Arena.

But Clement admits Andres Iniesta's last-gasp goal which sent Guardiola's Barcelona through to the 2009 Champions League final at Chelsea's expense was one of the lowest points of his career.

"I was working as assistant to Guus Hiddink then and it was Pep's first year as Barcelona manager," Clement said.

"We'd drawn 0-0 in Barcelona and we went ahead in the home leg before Iniesta scored to take them to the final.

"That was very hard to take and they went on to beat Man United in the final.

"Pep won four trophies in his first season as a coach, and it's brilliant to have him here in England after what he's done at Barcelona and Bayern."

Clement and Guardiola will renew acquaintance in far different circumstances this weekend, with Swansea's new head coach presiding over a relegation scrap.

Three wins in four league games since Clement's appointment have taken Swansea two points clear of the bottom three and level on points with Leicester and Middlesbrough.

"It is three out of six (to go down) at the moment, but that could change in the next two weeks," Clement said.

"It could be four or five, or even seven or eight, you just have to take each week as it comes.

"Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Hull, Middlesbrough, Leicester and us all have the belief and are working hard to stay in this league.

"I was very happy with the result against Southampton (a 2-1 win) the other night.

"The performance was mixed but we're improving that all the time."

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