Carlos Carvalhal: Swansea boss hopes for more St James' Park success

New Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal has got the better of Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez in recent meetings
New Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal has got the better of Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez in recent meetings

Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal says St James' Park holds no fears ahead of Saturday's Premier League match away to Newcastle United.

The Portuguese has won his two previous visits to Tyneside when he was Sheffield Wednesday boss.

"Sometimes the fans can stay a little nervous if the team is not in a good way," Carvalhal said.

"I don't think it is intimidating, it is a good ground, and we must look at this game as an opportunity for us."

Carvalhal was appointed Swansea manager at the end of December following the sacking of Paul Clement and oversaw a 2-1 Premier League win at Watford in his first game in charge.

A loss to Tottenham Hotspur and a draw in the FA Cup at Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers followed.

Swansea remain bottom of the table with 16 games left to play, four points from safety and six behind Rafael Benitez's Magpies in 13th place.

Carvalhal masterminded a League Cup upset at St James' in September 2015 when Steve McClaren was Newcastle manager and he repeated that 1-0 win against Benitez's side in a Sky Bet Championship fixture on Boxing Day 2016.

'Nice environment'

"My record against Newcastle does not mean we have an advantage for this game," said Carvalhal, who also enjoyed a Hillsborough victory over Benitez last season as the Owls completed a league double over the eventual champions.

"But it is a nice environment, it is one I like and I have enjoyed a lot."

Swansea, like Carvalhal, have a good record on Tyneside, winning three and drawing one of their five Premier League visits there.

"To win a game like this you have to be organised, first of all, and your attitude and commitment must be strong," Carvalhal added.

"At the same time we must be confident in our ability to play our football when we have the ball.

"But I don't see the game as a threat or something negative. It is the opposite, a chance for us to enjoy and fight for the three points.

"You must take points off teams that are near you. This is not a decisive game, but we must progress and be competitive."

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