Swansea City have risen from the depths to breathe fresh air as they swim towards Premier League survival, Carlos Carvalhal said after Saturday’s win over Burnley.
A drab affair at the Liberty Stadium looked destined for a 0-0 draw until Ki Sung-yueng produced the only moment of quality, firing low beyond Nick Pope with nine minutes remaining.
It is a ninth game unbeaten in all competitions for Swansea and a fifth in succession in the league, a run that has seen them climb out of the “deep water” of the relegation zone.
Swansea now sit 15th in the standings with a two-point advantage over the bottom three, a far cry from being bottom and five points adrift of safety when Carvalhal replaced Paul Clement in December.
“When we arrived, we were deep in the ocean. It was very dark. There were only stones and no fish – we couldn’t see anything,” the coach told Swansea’s official website.
“After that we won some big games against Liverpool and Arsenal, but it was only last week that we got our nose out of the water to breathe some fresh air.
“That was the first time we smelled the air, but in this moment we have started to swim and now we can look to the coast.
“We know the direction we need to swim in because we can see the coast, but there’s a long way to swim before we get there.”
What a strike! What a result! unbeaten…
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) February 10, 2018
Saturday’s win owed much to Carvalhal’s positive approach, the coach unloading his attacking options from the bench with the game level at 0-0.
Andre Ayew and Tammy Abraham were both introduced as Swansea looked to finish on a high, an approach that paid dividends for Carvalhal.
“I am very proud of my players,” he added. “We felt in the second half that my players wanted to win a lot and we tried to help them by putting more attacking players on.
“We took some risks, but they were controlled risks because we have trained this way.
“There is a famous coach in Portugal, Quinito, who says ‘we put all meat on the barbecue to try to win the game’.
“That is what we did today. We had Kyle Naughton in the right corridor and Sam Clucas on the left, then three forwards.
“We thought we could win and in the end I think we deserved it.
“We could have been happy with a point and stayed as we were, but we put players on to try to win and we did it.”
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