Leon Britton says that under-pressure Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin has the “respect of all players in the squad” going into Wednesday’s EFL Cup clash against unbeaten Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Swansea’s last two league games – a 2-2 draw with Chelsea and 1-0 defeat at Southampton – were headlined by Neil Taylor and Ki Sung-Yeung displaying visible disapproval of being substituted by Guidolin.
And with the Swans having not won since toppling League Cup opponents Peterborough on August 23, a cumulative effect has led to speculation in some quarters about Guidolin’s Liberty Stadium future.
But club captain Britton, who has made more than 400 Swansea appearances, said: “The manager has got respect of all players in the squad. There has been no-one disrespecting him in training or behind closed doors.
“He’s had a career where he has managed in Italy in the top flight for so long. He might not be a big name, but you have to respect the manager and staff.
“There are no issues, I know people on the outside like to make stories, but in the changing room and on the pitch there are no issues.
“Nothing has changed. The training is the same as when we were beating Liverpool last year. Things are normal. The performance wasn’t great against Southampton, but there is a lot of football to be played.
“On Sunday, everyone was frustrated with the way we played, and I think Ki will be disappointed.
“We are professional, we have to respect the manager and respect the group of players we’ve got. If there is a problem, like always in football, you deal with it in the changing room.
“As much as there is emotion and frustration running high when you are not performing well and you get brought off, at the same time, you have to remember we are professionals and we have to respect everyone involved in the football club.
“They know that, and I hope that’s the last we see of that.
“It is down to the manager to deal with it internally when he feels there might be an issue, but as players, we have to respect the whole group.
“It’s an emotional game. We’ve seen it over the years when players react when they come off and they feel maybe they shouldn’t have come off, but I think when things calm down they realise it is probably the wrong thing to do, and those boys will know that.”
In contrast to Swansea’s current form, Manchester City will arrive at the Liberty Stadium on the back of five successive league victories under Pep Guardiola.
The clubs meet again in the league next Saturday, and Britton accepts the Southampton performance fell way short of Swansea’s standards as they prepare to face the league title favourites.
“We have to be honest and say the level was well below what we should be performing at, as a team and individuals,” he added.
“We showed great character against Chelsea, but if you play against any team as we did on Sunday, you would struggle.
“There weren’t many positives on or off the ball, and there is room for improvements all over. We like to dominate possession and press and get back to what has served us so well, because we didn’t do well at all on Sunday.
“We had a tricky period (last year) which unfortunately ended with Garry Monk losing his job, but we said go back to basics, work hard and pass the ball. We have to learn from the mistakes of last year.
“We are only five games in, but it’s such a tough league we don’t want to be 10-15 games in, because the pressure mounts, the crowd get edgy, there is a media spotlight and you don’t enjoy it. So we need to nip it in the bud and rectify mistakes.”