Belfast Telegraph

Proud Clement thanks fans as Swans secure their safety

Sunderland 0-2 Swansea City

By Phil Blanche

Paul Clement declared himself a proud man after Swansea won their fight to stay in the Premier League.

Hull's 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace yesterday saw the Tigers join Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the Sky Bet Championship next season.

Swansea had piled the pressure on Hull by winning 2-0 at Sunderland on Saturday and Clement - who became the club's third manager of the season in January - was delighted that Palace had removed the final lingering fears of relegation.

"I am very proud of what we have achieved in the second half of the season,'' Clement said.

"Especially when you put into context where we were when I arrived - bottom of the table with just 12 points from 19 games.

"It's been a collective effort from everyone connected to the club; so congratulations to the players, backroom staff, club staff and definitely our supporters for getting us over the line.

"I honestly thought it would go down to the last game of the season.

"But credit to the players for showing the form they have over the last four games to pick up 10 points from a possible 12."

Swansea suffered a torrid first half of the season in which both Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley were sacked, the latter after only 85 days. Clement took over a team who had won only three league matches when he was appointed on January 3. But Swansea then won five of their next eight games and Clement was named Premier League manager of the month for January.

However, a six-game winless run, five of which were defeats, plunged Swansea back into the bottom three with only a handful of games remaining.

But wins over Stoke, Everton and Sunderland and a draw at Manchester United took Swansea's points tally to 38 ahead of next weekend's finale at home to West Brom.

"I'm not complaining it hasn't gone to the last game as I predicted,'' joked Clement after Swansea had secured a seventh straight season of Premier League football.

"And I'm sure the fans will feel the same way after everything they've been through this season.

"Our supporters have been amazing. It's been tough for them at times, but they've stuck with us all the way and I'm delighted for them more than anyone.

"I'm looking forward to enjoying the last game of the season with them at the Liberty on Sunday. It should be a fantastic atmosphere."

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