Caretaker boss looks ahead to Bournemouth
Alan Curtis has urged Swansea City’s players to prove how good they can be against Bournemouth this weekend after taking the reins following the departure of Bob Bradley.
Curtis is in charge on a caretaker basis alongside fellow first-team coach Paul Williams as the Swans search for a new manager.
And while he believes the club must do some business in the January transfer window, he feels the current squad have not done themselves justice so far this season.
“We have got good players,” Curtis said.
“We have got World Cup winners, players with lots of international experience, players who have been in the Premier League for a long time.
“We also have experienced players who know the club like Leon Britton, Angel Rangel, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge.
“For whatever reason, we have not been able to produce enough good performances.
“Why that is the case is a little bit of a mystery, but now it’s up to me and to the new manager coming in to find a way to deliver those performances.
“I think the players are there. We have to stop conceding goals and become much harder to beat.
“We have conceded too often and we probably haven’t scored enough goals either, and as a result there’s a lack of confidence in the team.
“But strangely enough we are only one win away from being right in the pack again.
“At the moment it looks like three teams from four or five at the bottom will go down.
“We have to try to make sure that come the end of the season, we are top of that little league.”
Curtis reckons the Swans must add players with leadership qualities when the opportunity comes to move into the transfer market next week.
“We need a boost,” he added. “The players need a boost. There’s nothing better for a squad than seeing players come in who you know will improve you.”
Curtis is set to be in charge for Saturday’s meeting with Bournemouth, and it could be that he remains at the helm beyond that game as the club seeks out the right man to replace Bradley.
The former USA coach was relieved of his duties on Tuesday after defeat by West Ham left him with only two wins in his 11-game reign.
“I absolutely have sympathy for Bob,” he said.
“Nobody likes to see a manager lose their job. He was probably under pressure from the off because he was American, but nobody could have given more in terms of commitment.
“He was the first in at 7am and the last out at 6pm. The work and time he put in was as good as I have seen, if not the best.
"His preparation and training could not be faulted and I am sure he will go on to have success elsewhere in the future.
“Whoever comes in next has to be the right man.
“Personally, I would like to see someone who knows the Premier League and has had some experience of playing or working in the division.
“I think what the club needs is not a change in direction, but someone who has our philosophy in terms of style of play, who has a bit of experience of the league and who can look at us with fresh eyes.”
Curtis on being harder to break down
“It’s not just pointing the finger at the boys at the back. The whole team has to be more resilient.
“Set-pieces have been an Achilles Heel for us for a long time and they have been a problem again in recent games. There’s no easy answer. We just have to keep working on it.”
Curtis on how long he will be in charge
“It’s a game-to-game basis. Somebody could be appointed tomorrow or it might take a while longer.
“I assume I will be in charge of the Bournemouth game and then we will see after that. We will be in Sunday preparing for Crystal Palace whatever happens.”
Curtis on the atmosphere for Bournemouth
“I think it will be different (from West Ham). I think the fans will get behind the players, while the players must do something on the pitch to get the crowd going.
“The most important relationship at any club is the one between the players and the fans.
“The fans need to get behind us and we need to show a bit more spirit and fight.”
Curtis on the Swansea way
“We have to get our style back, and I don’t think it’s as difficult as some people are suggesting.
“When you look at training, I think the ability is there.
“I think with the quality of players we have at the club, we should have done much better in the first half of the season, but now we have to look forward.”