Ashley Williams: Wales success did not affect Swans, says skipper

Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams made his debut for Wales before joining Swansea City in 2008

Swansea City captain Ashley Williams denies there is any link between their Premier League struggles and Wales qualifying for the Euro 2016 finals.

The Swans were fourth in the Premier League on 30 August, but lie 17th after Monday's 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.

Williams, 31, also captains Wales, who played four games from 3 September to 13 October to help qualify for France.

"It was just a coincidence that as we qualified things started to go bad for Swansea," said Williams.

"I've said for years to you guys that the minute you leave the [Wales] team hotel you're back in Swansea mode and it's that simple.

"And you don't think too much about Wales until you turn back up and so it's quite easy to turn off."

Wales had not qualified for the final stages of a major championship since the 1958 World Cup.

Apart from Williams, defender Neil Taylor was the only other Swansea player to regularly feature in Wales' qualifying campaign.

Wales celebrate qualifying for Euro 2016
Williams (third from right) has made 56 senior international appearances for Wales

Loss of form was an issue

The central defender was the man of the match as Swansea claimed a fifth point in three Premier League games at Selhurst Park and a third consecutive clean sheet.

He was at the heart of a defensive display that had caretaker manager Alan Curtis hailing his "absolutely brilliant" performance.

But Williams thinks his personal loss-of form was a problem as Swansea slipped down the table in the autumn - a run of results that led to the sacking of manager Garry Monk.

"It hasn't been up to my usual standard," he admitted.

"I've struggled and at the same time the team are struggling really which is disappointing because the team are looking at me to perform well.

"And I take that personally really because if I'm not performing well then what chance have the other boys got.

"It was more about trying to get my form back to where I feel that it should be and I've been pleased with the way I've played in the last couple of games, but it's about maintaining that and trying to play even better.

"The team obviously need their captain to play well so it's important before I can tell anyone else anything I have to take care of my own game."

Top Stories