Swansea City manager Bob Bradley has asked his players to banish fear from their hearts as they prepare for the visit of Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.
The American took over at the Welsh club in October, replacing Italian Francesco Guidolin, and is still searching for his first win after three league games in charge, with the club second from bottom in the 20-team league on five points.
“There needs to be a mentality not the least bit afraid, that still understands every time we step on the field this is the chance to turn things around, not one that hides that part of it,” Bradley told a news conference on Thursday.
“I’m strong to say this is football, you don’t get anywhere if everybody is looking around for answers.”
Bradley, the first American to manage in the Premier League, oversaw a 3-1 defeat at Stoke City on Monday, and bemoaned his players’ inability to sniff out danger and react quickly.
“What I see is that on the surface, the group does a good job with everything,” he added.
“They understand the opponent and how to handle it, but in games, situations develop quickly and the ability to recognise situations, smell danger, react, make plays in moments that really count, that is – for me – the area missing the most.
“That’s what I mean by lack of confidence. You can go through a game doing a solid enough job, but the moments that count was the difference on Monday. We can’t be a team that keeps getting caught in the situations like we have.”
The manager also revealed he was considering a January move for former United striker Dimitar Berbatov.
The 35-year-old is currently at Greek side PAOK Salonika, and Bradley said he would relish the chance to play in England again.
“I’ve met Dimitar a few times and I know that he’s anxious to get back into the Premier League,” Bradley added.
“Everyone inside our club knows that so when there’s discussions, his name is included.
“Where it takes us at this time I don’t have an answer for you… but certainly I’ve seen some of the good things he’s done in the past.”