Swansea City remain in PL relegation zone
Paul Clement reckons Swansea City must win three games between now and the end of the season to give themselves a survival chance after their 1-0 loss at Watford.
The Swans remain in the Premier League relegation zone after Etienne Capoue’s goal condemned them to their sixth successive away defeat.
The Swans have taken only one point from their last half-a-dozen league games, but remain in the hunt to stay up after their relegation rivals all dropped points.
They are still only two points behind 17th-placed Hull, who went down 3-1 at Stoke, and Clement insists his team boasts the quality to pull off a spectacular escape.
But the Swans head coach admits his team must start proving their worth when Stoke come to Wales next weekend.
“I have been asked ever since I came here whether the next game us must-win. Some of those games we have won, one we have drawn and some we have lost,” Clement said.
“We are now in a situation where we have five games left. Hull haven’t won today. That’s a bonus, but it’s also a missed opportunity because we would have been out of the bottom three if we had won.
“Mathematically it is out of our hands, but what is in our hands is the next game at home against Stoke. I believe you can say now that that’s a must-win game.
“I think we need to win three of the five games we have left. Who knows if that will be enough – it’s possible it won’t be.
“But I believe we can win three games. We won four out of six at one stage so why can’t we win three out of five?
“I believe the quality is there in our squad. We showed it when we won at Liverpool and when we beat last year’s champions, and when we beat Southampton and Burnley at home.
“I have seen that quality in big-pressure games. Now we have to show it again.”
The Swans had plenty of possession at Watford, and pegged their hosts back for much of the second half.
But they could not find the required quality in the final third to do damage to Walter Mazzarri’s rearguard.
As a result, Capoue’s 44th-minute goal proved decisive. The former Tottenham midfielder stole possession from Alfie Mawson before beating Lukasz Fabianski at the second attempt.
“Overall, we were okay defensively in the game,” Clement added.
“It’s clear the goal was an individual error and it came at a bad moment for us.
“That’s not something you would expect from one of your central defenders in that area of the pitch.
“Alfie is disappointed. He knows he has made a mistake and he has to learn from that.
“But we still had time to get something out of the game. I made some changes in the second half to get more offensive players higher up the pitch.
“We got enough balls into the final third of the pitch, but it was the final thing that was missing. We didn’t put in enough good quality crosses and we didn’t show enough accuracy or quality with the balls that were in and around the front of their box.
“It was better than West Ham. There was more spirit, more confidence in the players, but we just didn’t have that quality that was needed.”
Clement was keen to praise the travelling fans at Vicarage Road.
“I am aware of the expense of tickets and travel and I know they want to see their team doing well in the Premier League,” he said.
“I thought they got behind the team really well and I hope and expect they will be right behind the team until the end of the season, because we need that help they can give us.
“I want to thank them for coming and trying to help us here and I am sorry they have not seen their team get at least a point.”