07:00 20th November 2013
. . . skipper looking to avoid last-gasp setbacks
After seeing victory snatched from his grasp in his last three matches for club and country, Ashley Williams is hoping to avoid further late setbacks this weekend.
The Swans head to Fulham this Saturday as Michael Laudrup and Co return to Barclays Premier League action following the international break.
While some of the Swans squad were recharging their batteries during the national fixtures, Williams was part of the Wales squad that was pegged back by Finland in added on time in Cardiff as the visitors snatched a 1-1 draw.
Prior to that, the centre-back was in the starting line-up as the Swans conceded in the final minute on both occasions against Russian side Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League as each match finished 1-1, while Stoke City struck a last-gasp penalty in the Premier League fixture at the Liberty last time out to seal a 3-3 draw.
It has proved a frustrating period for Williams, but he’s determined to ensure there will be no late drama at Craven Cottage.
“It’s disappointing, especially to have happened three times on the trot for me with club and country,” said the Swans and Wales skipper.
“To have worked so hard to get into the lead and then concede in added on time is hard to take once, let alone three or four times in a short period.
“The Stoke game wasn’t really our fault because I don’t think it was a penalty, but the other two against Kuban and Finland proved that a goal can come from nothing.
“On a club level, I think we have to make sure that we finish teams off. It’s not a mentality thing, it won’t play on our heads this Saturday, but we know that we can’t allow three points to turn into one.”
Fulham go into the match sitting just inside the relegation zone – on goal difference – while the Swans are two points better off in 13th place.
And Williams stressed the importance of the fixture for both sides.
“We have done well there in the last few years, but this will be a very difficult game - it’s an important game for both teams,” he pointed out.
“They have got some dangerous attacking players like (Dimitar) Berbatov and (Bryan) Ruiz, and we know we will have to keep them quiet for the whole 90 minutes – and added on time – if we want to get something from the game.”