Brad Friedel has told Swansea fans to expect a more direct style of play under new manager Bob Bradley.
American Bradley was appointed by Swansea’s US owners on Monday following the sacking of Francesco Guidolin, who had kept the team up last season after Garry Monk’s dismissal.
The Welsh club became closely associated with possession-based football during their rapid ascent from the lower leagues to the top flight, culminating in the team winning the League Cup under Michael Laudrup in 2013.
Since then success has been harder to come by and Swansea have recorded just one win from seven Premier League matches so far this season, leaving them 17th, outside the relegation zone on goal difference only.
Guidolin paid the price for that poor start and Bradley, who coached the United States men’s national team from 2006 to 2011, followed by spells with Egypt, Stabaek of Norway and French Ligue 2 side Le Havre, has been charged with turning things around.
“The style of play will be different from than what it was under Brendan Rodgers and [Roberto] Martinez, so I hope the fans will be prepared for that,” former USA goalkeeper Friedel told the BBC.
“It will be a little more direct – when you used to play the Swansea teams when it was Martinez and Rodgers it was total possession, and I’m not saying he [Bradley]’s a long-ball coach but it will be a bit more pragmatic.
“I’m not saying it will be difficult on the eye, but it will be efficient, and I mean that in a positive way, I don’t mean that in a negative way, but it will be a little bit different.”
Friedel is hopeful his compatriot will succeed at the Liberty Stadium after turning down MLS offers in his quest for wider recognition.
“There is absolutely a steel to Bob Bradley,” he said.
“Bob will also be a communicator with the players – that won’t be an issue but if he has to make a hard decision he will have no problem making that hard decision.
“He’s been around a lot and I give a lot of credit to Bob – he has had a lot of opportunities to take big jobs in the United States since he left but he chose to go and ply his trade in Norway to try to get a bigger name in Europe, he went to France and narrowly missed out on promotion last year.
“He’s put a lot of work into this and I really hope it goes well for him.”