West Ham United attacker Joao Mario believes that Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea City will prove a stern to test to his side in the Premier League this afternoon as he prepares for his first trip to the Liberty Stadium.
The Portugal International has settled in well to English football since joining on loan from Inter Milan during the transfer window, starting every English Top-Flight match since.
In doing so, the 2016 European Championship winner has been helping the Hammers in their bid for survival in the top division over the last few weeks with some impressive performances.
But, he knows that the job is far from complete and that this afternoon’s clash in Wales could go a long way to deciding the fate of the two teams, having this to say exclusively to West Ham’s Official Website ahead of the weekend,
“Since Carvalhal arrived, they have been doing great,” stated Mario. “One of my really good teammates from the international team – Renato Sanches – is down there as well, so I’ve been following them a bit this season.
“They’ve recovered well since the new coach went in. Okay, they lost their last game, but they’ve been playing much better and have moved into a much stronger position than they were in.”
The former Sporting Lisbon man continued, “They are at home and they will definitely be dangerous, with their home fans cheering them on. It’s going to be a tough game for sure, and we need to make sure we are ready and at our best.”
The No10 may have appeared to quickly adjust to the pace and differentially of the English game, but how has he felt about his time in the PL so far? He went on to state this about it in in the same interview.
“The Premier League is a new type of competition, and it’s taken a little getting used to,” he exclaimed. “Everyone talks about how intense and physical this league is and, 100 per cent, it’s a completely different type of football. It’s a different world.
“I like this kind of football though. I think it’s been great for me. I’m developing, I’m improving and I’m really enjoying myself. I’m just keen to keep getting better.
“Of course, It’s always better when you’re starting matches and I have been playing regularly. I’ve liked the last few matches because I’ve been involved, and I just want to help the team pick up as many points between now and the end of the season, starting against Swansea.”, proclaimed “Super Mario”.
The Portugal star may be enjoying the challenge that the Top-Flight is presenting him with, but he is also very wary of the fact that his team must bounce back from a thrashing at Anfield last weekend, in South Wales.
“Liverpool are a strong team and they are in a really good moment, so it was difficult for us, but I guess it was just one game. We need to let that game go into the past and focus on this Saturday now and try to get the three points.”
A win for David Moyes’ side could be crucial in what is a real six-pointer at the Liberty Stadium, with the East Londoners going into it in 13th place, though a mere three points above the Swans in 18th position with the Premier League bottom half as tight as it has ever been.