London (AFP) – Swansea manager Bob Bradley hit back at his critics on Friday as the American insisted his nationality had nothing to do with his arrival at the struggling Premier League club.
Bradley was hired by Swansea’s new American owners Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan to replace the sacked Francesco Guidolin ahead of popular candidates like Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs.
But the former United States coach doesn’t believe it was familiarity that won him the job and he is determined to prove the doubters wrong by lifting Swansea away from the relegation battle.
“I’m not a pioneer, I’m not an American manager, I’m a football manager,” Bradley said on Friday.
“Now, when I come here, there’s not one person in Swansea who could care less about what anyone in the US thinks.
“They care about their club and I am here to give everything I have for the fans, the club and I couldn’t be more excited about the chance.
“As you get older what you learn is you really understand who you are and what you’re all about.
“I go in to let people know who I am and to try to figure out who they are. So I had a discussion with Huw Jenkins (Swansea’s chairman), I enjoyed it, and a few days later I had a discussion with Jason and Steve and Huw.”
Bradley left French side Le Havre to take the Swansea job on Monday and is the first American to manage in the Premier League.
The 58-year-old arrives with Swansea languishing in 17th place in the table after just one league win this season.
Bradley had previously been linked to Aston Villa but instead joined Le Harve in 2015, missing out on promotion to Ligue 1 last season.
“You guys have written my name a few times in the last few years, most of the time I never got on the shortlist, maybe once,” Bradley said.
“One of the reasons I never got on (the shortlist) is you have a lot of great managers to pick from. In those kinds of situations the decision-makers may not know who I am and they may not actually look very hard.
“It would sometimes come out I was frustrated by a lack of opportunities but the word frustrated was wrong. I always felt I had to earn it.”
Swansea have not won in the Premier League since the opening day of the season and have lost five of their last six league games but Bradley believes he has seen enough this week to turn them around.