Swansea boss Paul Clement has told his players not to think about the bigger picture as they look to arrest their winless run.
Clement had an immediate impact when he took over as manager in January but the Swans’ hopes of survival have been hurt by a tally of just one point from their last five games.
Their results coupled with an upturn in form for Hull and Crystal Palace means Swansea go into Saturday’s clash with Watford two points adrift of Premier League safety.
Clement told a press conference: “This is a massive game. We have just one point from our recent games. West Ham was probably the worst we have played since I have been here.
“The margins were close against Middlesbrough and Tottenham but we have to move on quickly and find our level again. We picked up points quickly at the start of the year, now we have six games where we have to get them.
“We had the chance to build momentum and that would have been a nice situation. This is where we are and we have to deal with it, deal with each game, not just focus on the outcome but the details of a performance.
“It is different to going for a title – if you overthink, read the media and what the fans say it can drive you crazy. Just focus on performance.
“I have always told them that if you are going to read the media, which is fine and I do myself, don’t get too excited when you are praised or too down when you are criticised.”
Last weekend’s clash with West Ham was a big chance for Swansea to halt their slide but they were beaten 1-0.
Clement held talks with his players after that match and let them know how unhappy he was with the performance.
“I thought against West Ham there was an anxiety in our play,” he said.
“That certainly showed in the first half. Difficult to say why that was the case. All of us felt upbeat going into the fixture that we could get a result there. It didn’t pan out like that.
“There were some very basic errors that led to a lack of confidence in the first half. In the second obviously we made changes to the shape and to the personnel and it wasn’t effective because we didn’t go on and create that many chances.
“The mood this week wasn’t too good the first couple of days but spirits have really been lifted the last couple of days because we had good training sessions and we have belief going into this fixture.”
Swansea will be without captain Jack Cork, who sprained his ankle during the clash with West Ham and could also miss next weekend’s match against Stoke.
Cork’s absence could mean a recall for long-serving midfielder Leon Britton, who is yet to make an appearance under Clement.
The manager said: “He (Cork) will be a loss. However, this is a chance for someone to come in. Leon, Jay Fulton are possibilities and a shape change is a possibility too.
“Leon has a lot of experience and I have kept him close to the squad even though he has not been playing. He is a very positive influence.
“I know he wants to be playing but he has been very professional in putting the team ahead of his own thoughts and ideas.”