October 10 – Bob Bradley, the first American appointed to coach a top-flight European team, says he aims to disprove those who believe he will find the Premier League too hot to handle.
The former US national team coach, who has taken over at struggling Swansea City, recognises he needs to win over the fans whose Supporters’ Trust own a 21% stake in the club.
“I could not be more excited to get the chance,” Bradley said. “With football in the US, we have always known we needed to earn respect. It’s the number one thing. For a club to have any chance of being successful, you have to have connection with supporters and community.
“If they’re angry right now I get it. If you come to the Premier League you have to earn respect. No-one gets it on a plate. You get tested. In everything I’ve done in life, I’ve fully understood you have to earn respect.”
Bradley feels Swansea’s difficulties in the Premier League – where they are just a point outside the relegation zone – has been influenced by a tough fixture list.
“We had a very difficult list of fixtures at the start of the season, it’s had some bad luck and lost a bit of confidence. Sometimes when that happens, things slip a little bit.
“I know I’m at a club with a soul, that has real passion and real fans. I understand there are going to be sceptics. Honestly, I don’t care. I love football, I love work and I believe in my ability. If someone wants to write I am an American and I don’t know s***, I am not afraid of it.
“Has anyone ever said that directly? No, but you get that sense. I don’t carry it around with me every day. There are sceptics in all fields and social media. My daughter says the haters will always be there.”
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