Carvalhal Aimed To 'Confuse' Watford With Starting Line-Up
Swansea City head coach Carlos Carvalhal said he aimed to confuse Watford with his decision to field 4 central midfielders in a flat 4-4-2 formation at Vicarage Road.
The line-up puzzled us all before kick off, as the Portuguese adopted a flat 4-4-2, with a midfield line consisting of Clucas on the right, Sanches on the left with Carroll and Mesa in the centre.
He changed things around at the start of the second half, taking off Roque Mesa, and bringing on Luciano Narsingh to add some pace on the right flank. Sanches moved inside and benefited from the switch.
It didn't really work, but Carvalhal explained afterwards his thinking behind his decision:
"We started with four midfielders to try to confuse Watford. We tried to play our wingers inside with our two strikers wide to try to stop their full-backs.
"We didn`t achieve exactly what we wanted in the first half, but we started to stabilise the game after 20 minutes.
"We brought Luciano on to give us some more pace - we started to do things to win.
"There were some moments of luck for both teams. We hit the crossbar when if we`d scored, our strategy would have been more effective.
"Then Lukasz (Fabianski) made a fantastic save when face to face with (Andre) Gray. That moment was crucial."
Talking about the game, Carvalhal felt it was a deserved win, although his opposite number Silva felt his side dominated and controlled the match.
"We tried everything at the end to win the game,"
"We had two attackers, two wingers, (Renato) Sanches in the middle and (Martin) Olsson playing as another left-winger.
"We tried everything to win, but if the players don`t play with commitment and heart, we will not win.
"Also, our fans were crucial because we felt their support, especially in the second half.
"We put more players in attack at the end. The players believed and we achieved an important three points.
It was a superb win, but Carvalhal will know that it was a far from perfect performance, hardly satisfactory even. We rode our luck, gave away possession too often but found some luck in the final 5 minutes to score twice and get the three, crucial points.
"Because we won, it doesn`t mean everything was perfect, but there are a lot of positives from today and I believe we will grow as a team.
"I don`t think one win means we will be in paradise, with lots of birds and flowers.
"But confidence will be higher and as we get a clearer of how we want to play, I believe we will pick up more points."
The Swans almost took the lead early on at Vicarage Road when Ayew`s long-range drive crashed off the bar.
But having fallen behind, the Swans` hopes of getting a result began to fade as they struggled to create clear-cut chances.
That all changed in the dying minutes, though, as the Swans sealed a win which lifts them off the bottom of the table.
"It was a difficult game against a strong team.'