Paul Clement has urged Swansea City to finish with a flourish on Sunday when they round off a remarkable season against West Bromwich Albion.
The pressure is off Clement’s players after they hit their Premier League survival target last weekend.
Having been bottom of the table with just 12 points at the midway point of the season, the Swans guaranteed they will still be a top-flight club in 2017-18 after they beat Sunderland and Hull City lost at Crystal Palace.
Clement admits the mood has been relaxed on the training ground this week – but insists the Swans have plenty to play for when they take on West Brom.
“It’s obviously very pleasing to be safe because we could have been going into a high-pressure game this weekend,” he said.
“We’re delighted to have got safe with a game to spare, but we still want to finish strongly.
“The season is not over yet and we want a good performance at home – there’s lots of motivation going into the last game.
“We are playing in front of our fans and I think there will be a good atmosphere. We have the chance to finish the season with three straight wins, which is a difficult thing to do in the Premier League.
“We want to keep a clean sheet and we want to score some goals. We don’t want to concede from a set-play because we haven’t done that throughout the second half of the season.
“We also want to try to finish two places higher in the table than we are now, which is a possibility if we win the game.”
The Swans have been in celebratory mood since Hull’s defeat at Selhurst Park ensured they will remain in the Premier League for a seventh successive season.
But Clement is asking for one final push from his players before they head off for the summer break.
“It has been really good this week – we have had a couple of days to enjoy what happened last weekend,” he added.
“But we have to move on quickly. We have a game to prepare for and we expect it to be a difficult one.
“West Brom had a very strong first half of the season which meant that their Premier League status was never going to be in doubt.
“That’s a credit to Tony Pulis, a very experienced manager who I respect.
“They have struggled a little bit recently, but we are expecting a tough opponent.”
Clement, meantime, has backed chairman Huw Jenkins’s suggestion that the Swans do not need to make major changes to their playing staff this summer.
“From my point of view, I have been very happy with this squad,” the head coach said.
“I don’t think a major overhaul is required. Of course we want to strengthen, but I don’t see it being a lot of players – maybe we will do a couple of things.
“If the club had got 12 points in the second half of the season, as they did in the first, then you would maybe say an overhaul was needed.
“But if we win on Sunday, we could end up with 29 points from the second half of the season. Even if we had got 20 in the first half of season and 29 in the second, I think we would be around eighth or ninth in the league.
“That would be right up there with the best finish Swansea have had.”
Clement on Claude Makelele’s future
“In the next couple of days I think he will sign a new deal. It’s all been agreed.
“We are very happy that he is going to be staying on because he is very popular.
“He is a quiet, humble man considering what he did as a player. He has great experience and he has passed that on to the players.”
Clement on end-of-season discussions with the Swans’ owners
“We will reflect on where we were strong this season and where we need to improve.
“We also want to start building towards next season because we want to start strongly.
“We will discuss lots of things. One is staffing – the playing side and the backroom staff – while we will also look at things to do with facilities and recruitment. That’s normal at any club.”
Clement on transfer plans
“We have been looking at potential players ever since I came in.
“I think the club did some really good business in January. We have continued to monitor players here in the UK and further afield, but as you all know there are a lot of ifs and buts with these things.
“It depends in part of on what offers we do or don’t get and whether any of our players move on.
“You can never be sure exactly what is going to happen until the window closes at the end of August.”