Clement Explains Why He Didn't Make Subs After 30 Mins
Swansea City head coach Paul Clement gave his reasons why he didn't make any subs during a lacklustre first half display at home against Watford.
We lost our third successive home league game on Saturday after two individual mistakes gifted the Hornets all three points. Bony's misplaced pass within the first 15 minutes allowed Gray to open the scoring, before Mesa and Mawson were guilty of mistakes before a 90th minute winner.
It was clear very early in the first half that Clement's 3-5-2 system and first eleven choices weren't working, and the fans' frustrations grew as he refused to make any changes - tactically and to personnel before half time.
You could say he was wasting time, as it was so obvious that switching to four at the back and getting another player forward was desperately needed.
Clement said afterwards that he considered making a change after 30 minutes, but decided not to - making the change during the break instead as it would allow him more time to explain the tactics in the dressing room.
'I was frustrated by individual performances, and myself for picking the wrong line-up and shape because when we changed it was better,'
'I was very close to making the changes before half-time, but I wanted to use the interval to explain exactly what I wanted on the tactics board so I could get the message over more effectively.
'I told the players that when the supporters get on your back it is because they want you to do better and they are demanding of you, that's fair enough.
'Then you have to show the character to play in difficult circumstances, to step up and keep asking for the ball rather than going into a shell and not be available to make a better passing option.
'We were not positive enough.'
Of course, Clement knows best - but I still would have liked him to have made an early change. It's a reminder of our 2-2 draw at home to Chelsea at the start of last season when Francesco Guidolin was manager.
Like Clement, the Italian admitted to his mistakes as he too adopted a 3-5-2 formation that day. However, Guidolin made a sub 5 minutes before the break as Neil Taylor showed his frustration in being taken off in place of Modou Barrow.
For the sake of 4 minutes it might have looked a bit pointless - rather than waiting until half time, but this time against Watford - he could easily have made a swap by the 30th minute. Watford had a second goal ruled out for offside before the break as well as having another decent chance from close range, so it was pretty obvious something needed to be done before the game might have gone out of our reach.
However, Clement did make the necessary changes at the restart, as he brought on Mesa and Abraham, who both made an immediate impact. The equalising goal came within 11 minutes and the Swans went in search of a winner.
We shot ourselves in the foot right at the end, but hopefully this game proves to be something of a blessing in disguise for the Swans and Paul Clement, who needs to be bolder and show more ambition at home.