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Crystal Palace v Swansea City: Curtis hopes to have turned corner

Caretaker manager Alan Curtis has issued a rallying call for Swansea City to continue demonstrating the improved character on show against West Brom when they visit Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Monday.

Swansea picked up their first win in eight league games at the Liberty Stadium on Boxing Day thanks to Ki Sung-yueng’s close-range finish against Albion.

It marked a rare bright spot in a Swansea season that has already seen popular former manager Garry Monk depart, with Curtis’ men now out of the bottom three.

Amid a hectic festive period, Curtis warned of the need for another battling display as the wait for Monk’s permanent successor continues.

Asked if the win could prove a turning point in Swansea’s season, Curtis said: “You hope it would be but you quickly come down to earth, we’ve got Palace on Monday and then Manchester United next week.

“Whoever comes in has to be the right choice and if it takes a little bit longer – we’ve just got to be cautious with who we bring in.

“It has to be the right man and if we delay it a little bit longer then so be it. You carry on for as long as the club wait to bring someone in.

“We’ve got to show that [other side] at all times. The situation we’re in isn’t going to go away unless we put together a string of wins.

“You’ve got to mix it up. Everyone knows we’re good in possession but we had to show another side to our game and over the next weeks and months I’m sure we’ll have to show that same resolve.”

Curtis was without Eder (ankle) and Franck Tabanou (thigh) again on Saturday and, like opposite number Alan Pardew, will assess his squad for any knocks in the build-up to Monday’s game.

Pardew was delighted to see his side claim a hard-earned point at AFC Bournemouth on Saturday, but will be without Connor Wickham (hamstring) and Yannick Bolasie (knock) for the Swansea clash. 

With the likes of Bakary Sako and Dwight Gayle (both hamstring) also doubtful, as well as Scott Dann and Damien Delaney (knocks), Pardew acknowledged his squad is looking thin.

He told Sky Sports: “The work-rate [on Saturday] from both sides was terrific and the levels we played at – we’re both going to suffer in two days’ time because of that game.

“We’re hoping Patrick Bamford recovers a little bit because we lacked the chance for him to play with the injury on Friday.

“We’ll have to wait and see how he is but I don’t think anyone else is close. We’re pretty thin at the moment but that’s part and parcel of the game. You get periods like this.”


Key Opta Stats

– Palace have won only one of their last eight league matches against Swansea.
– Swansea have conceded only three goals in their last eight league games against Palace.
– Palace have failed to win their final league game in each of the last three years – drawing with QPR in 2014, losing to Manchester City in 2013 and drawing with Nottingham Forest in the Championship in 2013.
– Pardew has picked up just eight points in eight previous Premier League encounters with Swansea. 
– Swansea have suffered defeat in their last three Premier League away trips – they have not lost four successive top-flight away games since their opening four trips in the Premier League (Aug-Oct 2011).

Sat 26 Dec, 2015
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