At the end of a disappointing 2017/18 season Swansea City were relegated from the Premier League. The club struggled throughout the season and, despite a brief revival under Carlos Carvalhal, the Swans finished in the bottom three.
Now under new management, Swansea will be looking to challenge for promotion in their first season in the Championship. Although many fans will prioritise rebuilding and returning to ‘the Swansea way,’ it is important to finish at the right end of the table.
Here are five things Graham Potter must do in order to get Swansea back into the Premier League.
5. Avoid a Player Exodus
Currently, all of the transfer rumours surrounding the Swans appear to be about players leaving the club. If Potter wants to challenge for promotion in the Championship he must ensure that he keeps some of his key players.
Practically all of Swansea’s top performers last season have been subject to some speculation, including Jordan Ayew and Alfie Mawson. With Lukasz Fabianski and Ki Sung-Yueng already gone Potter must be careful that he does not lose all of his best players.
4. Spend Wisely
Recruitment has been a long-term issue for Swansea, with many fans blaming Huw Jenkins and the board of directors for poor signings. Now in the Championship, it is important that the new manager picks the players that he would like, instead of allowing others to take the lead on recruitment.
Potter must be allowed to sign the players that he sees fit in order to create a team which is capable of challenging for promotion.
3. Keep it Tight at the Back
The Championship is a notoriously difficult league and there is no guarantee that the teams relegated from the Premier League will even survive the next season – just look at Sunderland. For this reason it is important that Swansea keep as many clean sheets as possible to give themselves a chance of winning matches.
Last season the two teams with the best defensive records secured the automatic promotion spots. Clearly if Potter wants a return to the Premier League he needs a solid defence.
2. Score Some Goals!
Swansea were the joint lowest goal scorers in the Premier League last season, with just 28 goals in 38 matches. From that abysmal statistic it is obvious that Potter must get his team scoring quickly if they are to have any chance of challenging for promotion.
The new boss has already attempted to address the Swans’ goal scoring plight by offering Oli McBurnie a new contract. The striker scored six goals in his first eight games for a struggling Barnsley team.
1. Keep the Fans on the Manager’s Side
Although Swansea’s fans generally direct their frustration at the club’s hierarchy, managers have also incurred the wrath of the Jack Army. The fans can be an asset for any manager and, provided Potter does not start as Bob Bradley did, he will be backed by the supporters.
If the new manager can deliver on his promise of attractive football, the fans will support him and give him the time he needs to get Swansea back to the Premier League.