Alfie Mawson has challenged Swansea not to be complacent against Leicester
Manchester City new boy Gabriel Jesus’ 92nd-minute winner took away what would have been a deserved point for the Swans at the Etihad Stadium last Sunday.
Swansea head coach Paul Clement has guided the club out of the drop zone since arriving at the Liberty Stadium, winning two of his four league games.
The Swans’ revival has dragged Premier League champions Leicester into the relegation scrap, with both sides level on points ahead of their Liberty Stadium encounter.
“We’ve been on a good run with some fantastic results, but this will be a different test for us,” said Swansea defender Mawson, who has been pivotal in their upturn in form.
Paul Clement has taken Swansea out of the relegation zone
“It was a cruel finish for us at Manchester City, but now we’ve got to pick ourselves up, prepare for Leicester and make sure we finish the game in the manner we want.
“It’s at home, we will have fantastic backing from our fans and it’s up to us to get the result everyone wants. It’s a big game for us – we know how important it could be for our season.”
In stark contrast to last term, Leicester’s leaky backline has shipped 10 goals in their last four league games. The Foxes’ defence was so key in their Premier League winning season.
It is not just Leicester’s defence which is letting them down, star men Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have failed to perform to the levels that left the football world in awe last year.
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Claudio Ranieri’s men have won just one league game since December 10 and it is that disastrous run that has the defending champions looking over their shoulders. However, Leicester chiefs gave their “unwavering” support for under-fire boss Ranieri this week.
Swansea, meanwhile, look like a completely different team under Clement after the former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich assistant succeeded Bob Bradley in January.
Mawson has been an unlikely source of the Welsh side’s goals, scoring in two of Swansea’s three wins since the turn of the year, while forming a solid partnership with Argentine Federico Fernandez at the heart of their defence.
Swans midfielder Jack Cork has been full of praise for Mawson, 23, who has impressed since his £5million summer switch from Barnsley.
“He’s a good lad, a great player with quality and he’s reliable,” said Cork. “He’s only young. The more he plays and the more confidence he gets in the Premier League, I’m sure he’ll be a great player.
“He’s a big presence at both ends of the pitch and off it as well. It’s good to have someone you know is going to compete and be aggressive and shout and talk. He’s a proper centre-half.”
Hull and Sunderland, like Swansea, are showing signs of life at the bottom of the table which makes Sunday’s showdown in south Wales even more crucial.
Swansea and Leicester are both just one point above the bottom three.