Liverpool and Wales striker Craig Bellamy proud of Swansea exploits

Craig Bellamy with Wales team-mate Ashley Williams during a Cardiff-Swansea game
Bellamy with Wales team-mate Ashley Williams during a Cardiff-Swansea game

Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy says he is proud of how Swansea City have begun life in the Premier League - despite his loyalty to Cardiff City.

Brendan Rodgers's side, containing several of Bellamy's Wales team-mates, play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

And Bellamy says Swansea have proved they belong in the top flight.

"The only doubters would probably be from people outside of Wales... not knowing what Swansea's about as a football club," Bellamy said.

"They are out [of] the way and they don't get the coverage - nowhere near what other clubs get, that's clear.

"But anyone who has followed Swansea and followed their progression would know the Premiership will suit them.

"The Premiership will suit them probably more than the Championship would because of the way they play, the way they go about their football, the players they have.

"For me, with the players they have and they way they play, they'll stay up. I honestly believe that."

Swansea have yet to win away this season but their form at the Liberty Stadium - where they have won three, drawn two and conceded just one goal - has seen them rise to 10th in the table.

"A lot of people are starting to take notice of what they're doing... now one or two people in the Premiership and elsewhere are starting to realise they're a good football team," Bellamy told Sport Wales reporter Lisa Rogers.

"The Premiership will be a better place with Swansea in it.

"I know I'm Cardiff and would I much prefer to see Cardiff doing it? Of course I would.

"But at the same time I'm Welsh and following Swansea and watching how Swansea go about it makes me proud as well."

Bellamy spent last season on loan at home-town club Cardiff before negotiating a release from Manchester City to join Liverpool for the second time.

So having played against Swansea last year in the Championship, Bellamy knows their strengths all too well.

He also admits friendship with some fellow Wales players affects his outlook when he faces them on the pitch.

"It does make a difference because I like certain players and I don't like what I have to go through in a game then, because I like to be angry and I like to be annoyed at individuals!" Bellamy added.

"If I class you as a friend I find it very difficult then to step across that line.

"But I have to, because it is my game and I have to go about my business that way."

Liverpool are sixth in the Premier League and chasing hard to get into the top four and secure a coveted and lucrative Champions League place for next season.

"We're looking [to qualify for the] Champions League really, so that's the aim to try and finish in the top four, which is realistic," Bellamy said.

"It's going to be between ourselves, Tottenham and Arsenal [to join 'big three' Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea in the top four] - and that's no disrespect to Newcastle because they're already in it.

"There will be one team like a Newcastle who will be there or thereabouts with us.

"But I feel towards the end [of the season] it'll be between the three of us.

"Whoever can stay solid through the season and pick up the points, like we just did against West Brom away, if we can get one or two more results like that on the road as well than that gives us a good chance."

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