Belfast Telegraph

Clement says "toothless" Swans deserve to be bottom of the table

Paul Clement admitted "toothless" Swansea are where they deserve to be after defeat by Stoke condemned them to bottom spot in the Premier League table.

Wilfried Bony gave the visitors the lead in only the third minute against his former club but goals from Xherdan Shaqiri and Mame Diouf late in the first half earned Stoke a 2-1 victory.

A fantastic late save from Jack Butland prevented Ryan Shawcross scoring an own goal that would have given Swansea an equaliser but Clement made no attempt to sugar-coat things.

The Swans boss said: "I believe we've gone bottom of the table today and I can't say that we're unlucky. We've lost 10 games now, it's not been through misfortune: 'Oh, we're the unluckiest team in the world'.

"We deserve to be bottom because we're losing too many games, we're not consistent enough through a 90-minute period.

"We started the game very well, got a good goal and after that we played some decent football until the mistake where Leroy (Fer) was dispossessed in a very dangerous area and they capitalised on that. The second goal, we're too deep.

"Mentally we're not in a good state. You go down having led and we didn't play well from that point."

Clement had described this match as a cup final, such was its importance, and the result makes next week's home clash with West Brom absolutely critical.

"Someone asked me where we can go from there," he said. "There's nowhere else we can go but up.

"We're at the bottom of the table and it's certainly not a position we're happy to be in. We're a very disappointed team, club, dressing room - this is clearly a situation that is not very good. Next week is massive. Again."

Clement's comments will increase speculation that the end is near for him, and the Swansea boss insisted, as critical as he has been of his players, he holds himself responsible.

"It is not me pointing the finger and saying 'it is his fault, or it is his fault', it is a collective effort," he said. "I cannot win without the players. So I am being more self-critical because I have to be better and get more out of this team.

"We're a toothless team. Offensively we're nowhere near good enough, we don't create enough, we don't score enough.

"I believe I can (change it). I showed last year I am capable of working at this level with 29 points over 19 games. It was a big effort, it is nowhere near as good this season.

"I cannot sprinkle magic dust on this, it is about grinding out training sessions, be organised, be professional. That is what we are paid to do."

For Stoke boss Mark Hughes, the victory eased any immediate pressure after a poor run and he praised his side for turning the match around.

"It was the worst start we could have possibly made," he said. "A great strike by Wilfy. We had to show courage and character from that point on and just clear our heads.

"It would have been very easy to feel sorry for ourselves but I didn't see any evidence of that."

The negative for Hughes was a groin injury for Bruno Martins-Indi, who is likely to be missing for at least three or four weeks.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph