Francesco Guidolin feels Swansea City still have work to do if they are to avoid relegation from the Premier League as they prepare to face AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
The 60-year-old head coach will miss the game as he rests following a spell in hospital with a chest infection, but he faced the media ahead of the game and has prepared a match plan with first-team coach Alan Curtis.
Guidolin was also unable to attend Swansea’s two previous games, as the Welsh club recorded victories over Arsenal and Norwich City to give their survival push a massive boost in his absence.
The Swans are now on 33 points, nine clear of Norwich City and Newcastle United in the bottom three, but the ex-Udinese boss is not feeling secure just yet.
“We got two important victories last week, but it isn’t enough yet,” Guidolin said. “I want more. I know we have a good team and we can do better to finish the season strongly.
“The table is looking a lot better for us but I hope we can play well again on Saturday against Bournemouth and in the remaining games.
“The Premier League is difficult. I don’t know how many victories are needed because we must only look match by match.
“We won at Arsenal and it is possible another side in the relegation zone can win against a big team. We must understand nothing is impossible in the Premier League.
“We have to concentrate only on Saturday because it is an important and difficult match – Bournemouth are a good team with enthusiasm.”
After winning promotion last season, Bournemouth sit even closer than Swansea to sealing another year in the Premier League.
Eddie Howe’s team, who earned a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium in November, are two points better off, giving them a cushion of 11 to the relegation zone after two straight wins.
Striker Josh King scored in the most recent of those victories over struggling Newcastle United and urged his team-mates not to slow down.
“I wouldn’t say we are safe – we have got lots more to do,” he told the Bournemouth Echo.
“The win against Newcastle brought us a step closer, but we are not going to take our foot off the gas and think because we are 11 points clear we can all of a sudden lose.
“You have to look at it mathematically and we won’t stop until we are 100 per cent safe. Even then, we will still play good football and give 100 per cent because that is what our fans deserve.”
Bournemouth will assess the fitness of Harry Arter (calf) ahead of kick-off, while Swansea will check on Ki Sung-yueng (foot).
Key Opta stats:
– Swansea City have kept just one clean sheet in their last 15 Premier League away matches.
– AFC Bournemouth have won four of their 14 Premier League home games this season, but never won back to back games at Vitality Stadium in the top flight.
– Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored eight Premier League goals this season – his best return in a single Premier League campaign.
– Iceland midfielder Sigurdsson has scored in six of his last 10 Premier League appearances for Swansea City (six goals).
– Bournemouth have scored a league-high tally (8) and proportion (23%) of their goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League games this season.