We'll Have To Play Ugly Sometimes To Win Games
Ashley Williams says Swansea City have shown different sides to their game recently and admits they'll have to compromise their attractive passing style sometimes to win games.
In recent years, the Jackarmy faithful have been used to watching an attractive and patient passing style at the Liberty Stadium, and new manager Brendan Rodgers has continued that trend with great effect since arriving at the club in July.
So far this season we've watched his team play some fantastic football, but despite Rodgers' philosophy of attacking with style and pace, he's clever enough to make the tweaks when necessary to win games without us playing very well. Away from home in particular is where we'll need to make most adjustments to our approach to games, and Sunday's win against Cardiff was a good example of doing that says Ashley Williams.
We made a poor start to our away campaign, losing 4 on the bounce on our travels, but it seems Rodgers has learnt a lot in little time and made the slight changes necessary to pick up points when we're not in our home comforts.
Ashley Williams believes that it wasn't a typical vintage performance from the Swans at Cardiff, but we did what we needed to to pick up all three points and leave our bitter rivals red-faced.
The Swans have their best chance yet of challenging for promotion to the Premier League this year, and Williams is spot on when he says that sometimes we'll have to 'mix it up' to get vital points.
'I don't think we played the real Swansea way, though we still performed well against Cardiff,'
'I would prefer to win 1-0 playing whatever way than to lose with people saying we play like Arsenal.
'We now try to do what is required to win, whether that's via the physical approach or by passing it around.
'I think we've shown the different sides to our game already. The win at Crystal Palace was a different style of performance from us, while we have shown our passing style well at home.
'We have had to mix it up and that's why we are sitting third in the Championship.
'People used to say we weren't physical enough when we first came into the Championship and that we were too open, but that's not the case now.
'We have shown that lessons are being learnt. We now look more in control and comfortable when we are ahead.
'I don't see why we can't stay right up there until May.'
Paulo Sousa helped to organise and strengthen our defence during his 12-month spell last season, but some people claimed it would become more vulnerable considering Rodgers' extra emphasis on attack. They've been proved wrong though as the back four and goalkeeper have maintained 6 consecutive clean sheets now.
'As a team we are defending really well, I think it's important to say it's a team effort,' said Williams.
'Defenders love to talk about the clean sheets, but you have to look all around the team for that. Look at Scotty (Sinclair) and Nathan (Dyer) for example, they are tracking back and providing cover for the full-backs.
'I think Nathan is probably one of the best defensive wingers in the league. He does a lot of work.
'But everyone chips in — the wingers are doing that, Dorus (de Vries) is talking to us all the time and we have Alan Tate throwing himself at shots to block them out.
'The better teams don't concede soft goals, and we haven't been conceding them.'
'We are confident in our ability and we feel we can keep this run of clean sheets and results going,' he added.
'But we know if we slip up against Bristol City then the Cardiff win counts for nothing.'