Belfast Telegraph

Alan Curtis overseeing Swansea again with Francesco Guidolin in hospital

Swansea seek to move further clear of the Barclays Premier League drop zone with Alan Curtis once more deputising for ill head coach Francesco Guidolin.

The 60-year-old Italian will miss the crunch home game with relegation rivals Norwich on Saturday as he remains in a London hospital with a chest infection.

Guidolin was admitted hours before Wednesday's shock 2-1 win at Arsenal lifted Swansea six points above the bottom three and, just like at the Emirates Stadium, he has selected the team to play Norwich.

Curtis, however, altered the system with Swansea 1-0 down at Arsenal and says he has the power to change tactics and personnel if required.

"I've not spoken to Francesco because he's resting and I don't want to bother him," said first-team coach Curtis.

"It's probably a bit more complicated than we thought at first and he's on a drip system.

"But it's nothing too serious and we expect him to be out on Monday and back for the Bournemouth game next week."

Curtis has been told the team by Guidolin's assistant Gabriele Ambrosetti, and says "there will be changes again" after six first-team regulars were rested at Arsenal with the Norwich game in mind.

But when the first ball is kicked, Curtis will be the man making the calls as Swansea attempt to put nine points between themselves and Norwich.

"l'll give him [Guidolin] a ring before the game," said Curtis.

"But once the game starts I have the power to change things if we need to.

"We made six changes [against Arsenal] and the performances of certain individuals means there's a bit of a headache.

"It's a great problem to have and it's been reflected in the team [to play Norwich].

"There will be changes again but the most important thing is we win.

"Putting two or three wins together at any stage of the season is important, especially at this stage.

"We have a gap but that can be closed very quickly."

Swansea's victory at Arsenal - their third in five top-flight seasons - took them to the 30-point mark and Curtis believes that has provided a huge mental boost at the Liberty Stadium.

Beating Norwich would provide another huge step towards safety, but he dismisses the notion that Swansea would be all but safe if they overcome the Canaries.

"Psychologically, getting to the 30-point mark is a big boost and there's been a buzz in training since Wednesday," said Curtis.

"You can sense an uplift in spirit in the camp, but the test will be tomorrow.

"There's no point in getting a fantastic result at the Emirates and letting ourselves down against Norwich.

"We'll aim for 40 points to be safe, but you haven't needed that in the last few seasons and perhaps 38 or 39 will be enough.

"We will have a bit of breathing space if we beat Norwich, but there is still a lot of work to do."


From Belfast Telegraph