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Williams: I've changed my style

Published 26/06/2015

Swansea and Wales captain Ashley Williams has revealed how working with a psychologist has helped his leadership style
Swansea and Wales captain Ashley Williams has revealed how working with a psychologist has helped his leadership style

Wales captain Ashley Williams has revealed that working with Swansea's club psychologist has improved his leadership skills.

Williams was Garry Monk's on-field leader as Swansea secured their best-ever Barclays Premier League finish of eighth last season and the 30-year-old also played a huge role as Group B leaders Wales closed in on qualifying for the European Championships in France next summer.

Williams has now explained how his work with Swansea's club psychologist Ian Mitchell has inspired him to become a better captain.

"Being the captain permanently, I have worked on changing my style a little bit in terms of leadership," Williams said during Swansea's season review DVD Record Breakers: History Makers.

"I'm not as aggressive and demanding of players when circumstances aren't allowing them to do that.

"It's something I've worked on a lot with Ian Mitchell our sports psychologist this season.

"I try to push the right buttons to get the best out of every player, and I feel like I know them well and look after them.

"The gaffer can use me to get a certain message or idea across to the team and I relay it back to him with how they feel about it."

Swansea have already strengthened their squad this summer with the additions of Ghana striker Andre Ayew, France Under-21 full-back Franck Tabanou and Sweden goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Those signings have increased belief that Swansea can push on next season and qualify for Europe through a high league placing and Williams believes the players and staff at the Liberty Stadium should be proud of achieving a club-best finish and a record total of 56 points.

"It means everything to me as captain," Williams said.

" When you finish your career no-one can take something like this away from you as it's in the history books.

"We set a target in pre-season of breaking the record, and we've done it in style.

"That was a big thing for me because we didn't scrape over the line - we played really good football and hadn't been out of the top 10 all season."

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