New Swansea City Coach Michael Duff Hints At Change Of Style Next Season

Swansea City finally have a new head coach, but the question for fans now is whether that means a fresh approach.

Michael Duff has been confirmed as the new man at the helm in succession to Russell Martin – who has moved to Southampton following a long and protracted dispute regarding compensation, which has still only been partially settled.

Martin was hugely popular with most Swans fans, yet there was always a feeling among some that his no compromise possession-based style of play often left the team vulnerable to conceding too many goals.

Duff – who has moved to the Championship club from League One Barnsley – has said he wants to “evolve” that style, hinting a more pragmatic approach may be on the way.

“We need that one team mentality; the players, staff, fans, and board. Everyone needs to pull in the same direction because that’s the only way you’re going to achieve success,” Duff told Swansea’s official club website.

“I’ve had seven promotions in my career as a player and manager so I know what an environment should look and smell like.

“I want to play good football and I know that there is an expectation of that at this football club, but it’s about evolving it, moving it and being a bit more on the front foot and a bit more progressive at times.

“It’s about getting the balance of all those things because ultimately it’s a winning business. You’ve got to win.”

Former Burnley midfielder Duff spent just a year at Oakwell but guided them to the League One play-offs last season.

The Tykes lost 1-0 in the last minute of extra time to Sheffield Wednesday in the final at Wembley.

Duff spent four years as Cheltenham manager, winning League Two in 2021 – the club’s first league title in their history – before cementing the Robins’ place in League One and joining Barnsley last summer, finishing fourth.

Swansea finished 10th in the Championship last season under Martin.

Duff added: “There were lots of reasons I wanted to come to Swansea; the step up in level, but also the infrastructure that’s already at the football club, and speaking to the owners and the ambition they’ve got for the club it matches my own ambition.

“My immediate aims are to get a helicopter view of the landscape and the players, physically and mentally. What do they look like? What is their attitude like? And that’s the same for all the staff too.

“Ultimately, we want to walk out of pre-season with a fit group of players who are fresh.

“Hopefully the supporters are as excited as I am. And all being well, we’re going to see some really good football which is a little bit more on the front foot.

“We need the supporters as much as they need us and if we both turn up every week, then we’ll get more wins than losses.”

Swansea’s recently-appointed chairman Andy Coleman said: “Michael has a proven track record of galvanising a group of players into a collective unit, and he has consistently outperformed expectations at his previous clubs.

“Every conversation I had with him only reinforced the view that he is exactly the type of leader we need here at Swansea City.

“He is a proven winner, both as a player and as a manager, and I’m confident he will bring that mentality here.

“I believe in his ability and his belief in the Swansea Way, while he also possesses the capability to adapt within games to drive results.

“This is a results-driven business. Our position in the table matters to all of us and we are focused on supporting Michael with everything he needs to succeed.”