Swans defenders find common tongue


Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Skipper Ashley Williams has revealed how ‘Spanglish’ has got Swansea’s defence in mean mood again.

Swansea beat Leicester 2-0 on Saturday evening to end a run of five Barclays Premier League games without a win and move them back into the top six after their flying start to the season.

Wilfried Bony’s double got Swansea firing up front again but manager Garry Monk admitted after Leicester were brushed aside at the Liberty Stadium that he was just as satisfied with what was only a second clean sheet in six league games.

And centre-back Williams puts that down to a growing understanding with Argentina defender Federico Fernandez and their unusual method of communication on the pitch.

Williams learned Spanish with Swansea having signed so many Spaniards during his time at the club and Fernandez’s English is improving all the time following his £8million summer switch from Napoli.

“It’s difficult when you’re in the heat of the moment to change,” Williams said.

“For me to speak in Spanish or for him to listen in English is difficult.

“The key is to talk off the field and we have a lot of time in training to iron out things, especially in our position where you have to know what the other guy is going to be doing.

“So on the field we speak Spanglish! Sometimes he says whole sentences to me and I say ‘yeah, yeah’ when I think ‘I don’t know what he’s said there’.

“He could be saying anything to me but I think he understands a lot. You can speak English to him but I try to speak Spanish as much as I can to help him out.

“Sometimes I forget as well so it’s a mix, but the communication between us has been good.”

If Williams admits he does not understand every word Fernandez utters, the Wales captain has no doubts that his centre-back partner is fast adapting to the physical environment of the Premier League and Swansea’s possession game.

“I’m enjoying playing with him as he’s a very good defender,” Williams said.

“He’s still learning the system, especially on the ball, and I think you can see that sometimes.

“But that’s a given really because it’s different in this team being in your half on the ball.”

Leicester were unsettled before kick-off by a bizarre incident when their goalkeepers complained in the warm-up of the goal being too big and it was subsequently measured as a result.

The height of the crossbar was found to be the regulation eight feet and Leicester boss Nigel Pearson admitted: “We could have done with them being a bit smaller!

“The goalkeepers felt they were a bit high and I thought it might be in everybody’s best interests to get it checked out.

“It was quite light-hearted really. I think the officials were slightly surprised but everything was fine.”

Leicester’s third defeat in four games left them only two points above the relegation zone and their last win, the 5-3 humbling of Manchester United on September 21, already seems a long time ago.

Pearson blamed “unforced errors” as the reason behind his side’s latest loss but he insisted they would improve, starting at home to West Brom next weekend.

“We didn’t manage the ball well enough and that made for a frustrating afternoon for the players,” Pearson said.

“It was a disappointing performance and we certainly didn’t perform in the way that we know we can, but we will improve on that.”

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

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