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Swansea minds not on the beach despite Ibiza trip, says Paul Clement

Swansea minds not on the beach despite Ibiza trip, says Paul Clement
By PA Sport

20/05/2017 at 00:29Updated 20/05/2017 at 00:40

Paul Clement has promised Swansea are fully focused on their season finale against West Brom despite the players unwinding in Ibiza this week.

Clement sanctioned a two-night break for the players in the party capital of the Mediterranean after Swansea secured their Premier League status last weekend.

But Clement insists the short trip will have no bearing on his side with Premier League places and millions of pounds still at stake for Swansea.

"Someone texted me on behalf of the players to ask if the players could go away," head coach Clement said.

"They would have tried to have come back on Saturday if they could!

"But I told them to be back on Wednesday at 1.30pm - and they were coming in the door right on time.

"It was only two nights and it worked for both sides. Almost the whole squad went and you can see they are a close group.

"It's not been a problem. If we only had one or two sessions going into the game it might have been different, but we'll have four training sessions before then."

Swansea's top-flight status was secured last weekend after taking 10 points from 12 with a 2-0 win at relegated Sunderland.

Hull's 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace the following day saw the Tigers join Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the Sky Bet Championship next season.

It represented a remarkable turnaround for Swansea, who were bottom of the table with 12 points from 19 games when Clement was appointed at the start of January.

And Swansea's escape evoked echoes of West Brom avoiding the drop in 2004-05 after being bottom at Christmas, a side Clement's brother Neil was part of.

"Someone said to me that if there is ever a team bottom of the Premier League at Christmas then you need to hire a Clement," the Swansea boss laughed.

"Either coach or player then you have got half a chance.

"But we have to kick on now because what we did this year was not good enough. Sunderland flirted with it (relegation) too many years and paid the price.

"We have to come back next season much stronger."

Swansea could realistically climb two places to 15th by beating West Brom.

If that happens, Burnley and Watford would need a point from their final games to finish above Swansea.

And with each Premier League place worth £1.9million, there is plenty to play for at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

"It makes a difference for a lot of reasons," Clement said.

"We're already ripping our pitches up to improve the surfaces, not just renew them but improve them for better quality surfaces.

"That helps our football, that helps training through the winter months - we get a lot of rain here, so the pitches are vital. All these things cost a lot.

"We also want to carry on our good form, try and get that third consecutive win.

"That would be four from five, which would be a very strong finish."

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