May 3, 2018 / 4:19 PM / 18 days ago

Soccer: Carvalhal optimistic of Swansea survival ahead of final league games

(Reuters) - Swansea City are within touching distance of securing their Premier League status this season and two of their three remaining matches are against teams below them, giving manager Carlos Carvalhal reason for optimism.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Swansea City v Chelsea - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - April 28, 2018 Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal REUTERS/Rebecca Naden/Files

Swansea are a point and a place above the bottom three ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth. They have lost five of 15 league matches since Carvalhal took charge at the end of December - with four of those defeats against teams in the league’s top five positions.

The Welsh side host 18th-placed Southampton and 19th-placed Stoke City in their final two matches of the season and Carvalhal is hopeful that his team can make the most of their chances.

“In theory the calendar is positive... I don’t think there are easy games, but it is all in our hands, we don’t need to wait for results of others, we look to ourselves and try and do our best,” Carvalhal told reporters.

“If we achieve the points we don’t need to look to our neighbours and that is the proposal. We will do our best.

“We focus on ourselves, we are confident, there is natural pressure but it is positive pressure and I have felt that this week. We are confident, we have come from a tough game (losing 1-0 to Chelsea) where we played with quality.”

Swansea also received a boost with defender Federico Fernandez and winger Luciano Narsingh being declared fit for the trip to the Vitality Stadium.

“Fede has recovered (from a knee injury),” Carvalhal added. “He is training with the team with no problems so he is available.

“At this moment we just have Bartley who has not recovered yet and the two long-term injuries, (Leroy) Fer and (Wilfried) Bony.”

Bournemouth have lost their last three league matches and are 12th in the standings.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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