Tim Holland speaks to Simon Whitehead about it being a long season for the Swans, Carroll the beast and Big Sam not being a modern manager

How do you rate Swansea's season so far

How do you rate Swansea’s season so far?

It’s been tough and we knew it would be. With the Europa League qualifying it’s been a long season and we’ve played more games than most which never helps. Most recently we’ve been on winless run going back to December and I think that is really starting to affect the players’ confidence. Hopefully we can address that soon.

As you say you’ve experienced quite the dip in form. What do you think the reason is for that?

Like you, we’re struggling with injuries, Michu, Canas, Shelvey, De Guzman, Hernandez and Vorm are all out and with the squad the way it is, we’re looking a bit thread bare. Hopefully most of them will be back by mid February but you just hope we’re not pulled into the relegation fight by then.

Do you think Laudrup will be busy in the transfer window?

We need a couple more bodies even with some players returning in February. We’ve been linked to Anthony Pilkington from Norwich City which would be a good signing.

What have you made of Wilfried Bony’s first season at the club?

There’s always a worry when you sign a player for a lot of money — was the scouting good, how will he adjust to the team and to the league? I think he’s done really well; he’s scored some important goals for us and has taken the burden off other players in the team.

Although Michu was called up to the Spain national team, his form has dipped. Why do you think that is?

He hasn’t played since mid December so that might be the reason! With only a couple of goals this season I think it might be right to say he’s struggling with the weight of expectation. I hope for the club’s sake that he comes back all guns blazing!

How is your journey in the Europa League treating you this season?

I know a lot of people have enjoyed the run in Europe and it has been fun but there was a part of me that didn’t want to make it into the knockout stages. I think I’m getting old and cautious but I think we need to consolidate our league position. It’s ok for the bigger clubs but I think it’s been a bit of a distraction. I’ll probably be singing a different tune if we beat Napoli though!

Has the rivalry with Cardiff now intensified now you’re both in the Premier League?

I can’t admit to being sad seeing them bottom of the table and I wouldn’t shed a tear if they were relegated and went back to where they belong.

Who should West Ham fans be wary of in the Swansea first XI when the club’s meet?

Although the team hasn’t been playing well recently, Bony has so I’d keep an eye out for him. If Michu is back then he always makes himself a threat in his role.

What’s been your opinion of West Ham this season?

I’m surprised you’re struggling to be honest. You’ve had it hard with injuries but the biggest issue is Allardyce for me. He’s not the epitome of a modern manager is he?

What’s your prediction for the match and for the season?

I’ll go for 1-1. I think Swansea will finish 13th this season and I think West Ham will just avoid relegation and finish 17th.

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