Ashley Williams insists Swansea City must draw on the memories of past away-day glories to stop a drama turning into a full-blown relegation crisis.
Swansea have lurched into difficulties after failing to win in the Premier League since head coach Garry Monk celebrated his first game in charge by blitzing Cardiff City 3-0 on February 8.
The Swans have picked up just two points from four games since derby-day delight and sit only four points above the relegation zone after
Saturday’s damaging 2-1 home defeat to relegation candidates West Brom.
And with visits to Everton and Arsenal in the next week, there is a sense of unease that Swansea could find themselves in the thick of the relegation battle before fellow strugglers Norwich visit the Liberty Stadium on March 29.
But skipper Williams knows Swansea have surprised many on the road before, winning at the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Valencia during the Michael Laudrup era.
And under Monk there have also been some excellent away performances, even if wins did elude Swansea at Liverpool, Napoli and Stoke.
“We’ve beaten good teams before on the road and that’s the attitude we’ve got to go with,” said Williams ahead of Saturday’s journey to Merseyside and Tuesday’s trip to north London.
“Since Monks has been here we’ve gone to Liverpool and we’ve gone to Napoli. OK, we haven’t won, but if we can continue to show that attitude I think we’ll pick up points.
“As much as we’re disappointed and angry, I think we have to look positively at the next two.
“It’s not more worrying because we’ve just had Crystal Palace and West Brom at home and everyone assumed that we would get six points. We didn’t, we got one.”
Much will be learned about Swansea’s mental strength at Goodison Park where Chico Flores, free from suspension, Michu and Pablo
Hernandez will be in the mix to start against sixth-placed Everton hosts chasing European football.
But centre-back Williams insists he will be able to gauge who is exactly up for the battle when he takes part in training this week.
“As every game goes on that we don’t win I think it’s a test of character and we’ll see in training now who really wants it, who really wants to fight,” said the Wales captain.
“It’s about the standard we’ve set ourselves.
Over the last few years we’ve worked so hard to build a team and a squad. The way we go about our business has been so good and we’ve had a lot of praise.
“This season I don’t think we’ve acquitted ourselves as well in the league as we have done in previous seasons. But it’s not true that we’re
too good to go down. Anyone can go down and we’ve seen good teams go down before.
“We’re not looking at going down, but we’re in a battle and that might be a bit foreign to a few of our lads. We’ll see what it’s all about, we’ll see how much bottle we’ve got.”
Monk’s men were in the unusual position upon the full-time whistle on on Saturday of hearing the boos of home supporters ringing in their
But Williams accepted that frustration was understandable and insisted the players felt the pain of being sucked into the relegation battle.
“We’ve lost an important game that we
expected to win,” he said. “We know that we could have won it if we were at it and it hurts, there’s frustration.
“The fans and everyone involved with our club feels that. We feel it as much in the dressing room, if not more.
“We’ll have to look at it – the second half performance was clearly lackadaisical and clearly not good enough – the senior boys will have to pick the rest up and make sure
everyone knows how important this situation is.
“If it’s not good enough it’s not good enough, but it won’t be for a lack of effort.”