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Carvalhal: Swansea deserves “a bit more” than loss vs. Saints

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Swansea City no longer controls its own Premier League destiny after a 1-0 home loss to Southampton on Tuesday.

[ RECAP: Swans 0-1 Saints ]

The move boosted Southampton above the red line, and keeps Swansea in 18th place with 33 points.

Swans could still pass either Southampton or Huddersfield Town. There are two straight-forward scenarios which see Swans stay up.

[ MORE: Hughes reacts to big win ]

1) Swans beat the Potters on Sunday, while Huddersfield Town loses Wednesday at Chelsea and Sunday versus Arsenal.

or

2) Southampton loses at home to Manchester City on Sunday, while Swans beat Stoke and the score lines combine to erase nine goals worth of differential between the two sides.

That’s the path forward, but Carvalhal sounds exasperated that his side didn’t manage a point or more on Tuesday.

“We have the feeling we deserve a bit more, minimum one point,” Carvalhal said. “Now we are in the position we don’t have a lot of time. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow and at the weekend we must try and do our part and try and win the game against Stoke.

“It’s difficult to explain [the drop off in form] because we make chances – today, against Chelsea, against Everton, but didn’t score. I never put the responsibility on our players. They play with everything and the fans gave everything.”

It’s certainly not over for Swans, who hope to remain in the Premier League to meet fellow Welsh side Cardiff City next season, but perhaps the Huddersfield path is a more hopeful one.

Carvalhal positive despite Swansea’s slump

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Swansea City haven’t won any of their last seven games in the Premier League and their 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday keeps them entrenched in the relegation battle.

After a huge upturn in results following Carlos Carvalhal’s appointment in late December, the Swans are looking ahead to a relegation showdown at home against Southampton on Tuesday.

Speaking after the game, the energetic Portuguese coach is hopeful his team can get it done against Saints.

“There was one crucial moment of the game when they scored. After that we had two or three chances to score. The game was balanced and we created chances but we knew before the game that the first goal was important,” Carvalhal said. “After that goal, Bournemouth blocked the spaces and were more comfortable with chances to counter attack. We brought some players on to have an impact on the game and help the attack but there wasn’t much space. Bournemouth deserved the victory.”

“We tried to fight but we have two more games and a big opportunity on Tuesday. The game will start 0-0 and when everything is in your hands you must believe. If someone had said when I first took over that we would have it in our hands at this stage, I would’ve taken it.”

Young Swansea defender Connor Roberts added that “there is always confidence and belief we can stay in this division.”

The Swans aren’t in form and don’t have momentum at the right time of the season, but what they do have is two home games to finish with against Southampton and already relegated Stoke City.

Four points should secure their safety but at this time of the season that’s easier said than done.

Premier League Preview: Manchester United v Swansea

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  • Man Utd unbeaten in 5 vs. Swans
  • Red Devils won 4-0 in Wales on Aug. 19
  • United leads all-time 15W-6D-10L

Two old friends match wits when Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United hosts Carlos Carvalhal and Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

[ MORE: Man Utd-Liverpool in USA ]

Swans have not scored in two losses to Manchester United this season, once 4-0 in league play and later 2-0 in the League Cup. Both matches were staged in Wales.

For all the progress Swans have made under Carvalhal, the Welsh side is just three points clear of the drop zone and still has Man City and Chelsea on its season-ending run toward safety.

United opens the week nine points clear of fifth place Chelsea.

What they’re saying

Man Utd’s Mourinho on Swansea“They’ve improved a lot. They had a difficult period and they found themselves in a difficult situation, but since Carlos arrived it’s obvious that the team improved,” continued Jose. “They were below the last-three line for weeks and weeks and weeks, but with Carlos it has been point after point after point. Now they find themselves in a good position.”

Carvalhal on Mourinho at United“He goes into clubs who have not won much for a while and he makes them win things. This is the kind of challenge he likes I think. Sometimes that takes longer than other times, but he is making progress with Manchester United. They have already won some trophies and, while they will want to be the No. 1 club, he has taken the team much higher in the league than they were before.”

Prediction

Swans have their fight, but this is a bridge too far. United wins 2-0.

What does JPW think?

Mourinho accepts ‘king of coaching’ compliment ahead of Carvalhal meeting

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Jose Mourinho and Carlos Carvalhal talk often, but the Swansea City manager made headlines when he heaped praise on his Portuguese peer.

Carvalhal called Mourinho “our king of football” on Friday, relishing the chance to match wits with his friend at Old Trafford on Saturday.

[ MORE: Man Utd-Liverpool in USA ]

“He is the best manager ever for Porto,” Mourinho said. “He opened the doors for the new generation of managers to go abroad. He opened the ideas of the world on Portuguese coaches.”

Mourinho acknowledged the compliment, though he dropped the acclaim just a peg.

“I spoke with him last night – he said I was the king of the coaches, not the king of football,” the United boss said. “And he said that since my winning period with Porto, and since the moment I left the country, I opened the door for more Portuguese coaches to leave, which is something that I know is true. But I speak with Carlos a couple of times every week. This week was not different. So last night we spoke a little and I thanked him for his nice words because one thing is to think, and one thing is to say.”

Mourinho is nearly three years Carvalhal’s senior, but both took their first managerial steps domestically in 2000.

Carvalhal knows Swansea is a heavy underdog on the weekend, though he’s handling the opportunity with what’s becoming a staple of his managerial game: Quips!

“But there are two things: I have never lost against him or at Old Trafford, because it is the first time I will play him or play there, so it is a good record!

Swansea’s incredible “rock and roll” revival

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When Carlos Carvalhal was appointed as Swansea City’s manager in late December with the club bottom of the table with 1just 13 points from 20 games, nobody expected this kind of turnaround. Nobody.

In the next nine games they’ve picked up 17 points and are soaring up the Premier League table.

After Swansea’s 4-1 win against West Ham on Saturday, the Portuguese coach has lost just two of his opening 15 games in all competitions and the Swans have won four-straight home games in the Premier League to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

They are far from safe, but they are the form team in the bottom half of the table and have the momentum. Carvalhal knows it and the king of analogies was at it again after another big win.

“We moved things around today, rested some players and I am very happy. Our level of intensity is very high and the players are in a very good way,” Carvalhal said. “There are games where you must listen to the music of the opponent. We made West Ham dance to our music and it was rock and roll.”

Carvalhal would have been tapping his feet on the sidelines all game long as the Swans started brightly and never let West Ham settle.

Jordan and Andre Ayew made West Ham’s defense squirm, while the Swans were dangerous from set pieces and solid at the back. Everything was right about their performance.

“We have had some important victories since I arrived but this was the best performance,” Carvalhal said. “We are near to what I want us to do in all aspects of the game.We are progressing, it was an important victory. We lost last week and I said we would learn. It was my fault that we lost last week, we were too open.”

That’s been the key to Carvalhal’s success: humility. He has been laughing and joking in press conferences, dishing out Portuguese pastries for journalists and delivering hilarious analogies whenever he can to try and lift the mood.

When Swansea win, he salutes the players. When they lose, he blames himself.

Carvalhal has been a breath of fresh air and to think he was fired by second-tier Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season, the man himself has grasped a chance to step up to the Premier League for the first time in his career and give Swansea a real chance of survival.

When he arrived nobody gave them a chance of staying up. Now, you’ll find few who will bet against the Swans being in the Premier League next season.