Bob Bradley looked dejected on the sidelines on Boxing Day.
[ RECAP: Swans hammered 4-1 ]
The American coach watched on as his Swansea City side put in another dreadful defensive display as they lost 4-1 to West Ham United on Monday to deepen their relegation fears.
With Bradley, 58, under pressure to deliver wins the home fans began to turn on him and the new American owners at the Liberty Stadium.
All is not well in South Wales as Bradley has now lost seven times in his first 11 games in charge of the Swans.
“That was a tough afternoon in all ways,” Bradley said. “You saw a team who have gone through a period where nothing goes right and today was more of the same. At the moment we are our own worst enemy. No matter what we do, we seem to put ourselves in terrible spots, and getting away from that is hard work.”
Bradley is spot on.
So many of the goals Swansea has conceded since he took charge have been preventable and that was again the case against West Ham.
Lukasz Fabianski spilled the ball and Andre Ayew put West Ham ahead, then Winston Reid headed home from a set piece, Michail Antonio made the most of Swansea’s defense being slow to get out for the third goal and Andy Carroll then peeled away to the back post to score the fourth.
With the Swans now having the worst defense in the Premier League and conceding more goals than any other team since Bradley arrived in October, the fans have turned on the New Jersey native.
He knows they must work hard to win them back.
“After 18 games we are in a very difficult position, but that leaves us 20 games to fight to stay up and to win back the supporters,” Bradley admitted. “We all heard the response in the stadium today. It doesn’t feel good, but sometimes in football you have to fight when everything is going against you. There’s no magic formula for turning things around other than not giving up and working hard to try to find a way.”
That said, the former U.S. men’s national team coach is not giving up even though he admits the latest defeat was nowhere near good enough.
“I understood this was a difficult situation when I came here. I said then I would fight every day to do the job and I continue to be fully committed to doing that,” Bradley said. “I believe in my work. I believe in the message I give to the players. Having said that, there’s no getting around the fact that when things are going against you, when the margins are so small, it is difficult. In certain moments in football, a play can go against you. It’s the ability to handle it when that happens that has to be what our players are about.
” When we go down in a game, we have to roll up our sleeves and believe. But I don’t make excuses. After a game like that, I take responsibility. It’s not good enough. We have to look at each other and say that in the second half, when we had the opportunity to fight back, we were not able to it.”
January 1 can’t some soon enough as Bradley needs defensive reinforcements.
Swansea’s game against Bournemouth on Dec. 31 will be huge in deciding not only his future but that of the Swans as they continue to battle against the drop.