Swansea City are improving by the week, says Jonathan de Guzman
JONATHAN de Guzman believes Swansea City are improving with every passing game — regardless of results.
Swansea have had a contrasting start to the new campaign as superb European form has not always been backed up by Premier League performances.
After comfortably accounting for Malmo and Petrolul Ploiesti, Michael Laudrup's side have soared to the top of Europa League Group A.
They recorded an eye-catching 3-0 win against Valencia at the Mestalla before also beating St Gallen. But victory over the Swiss side was followed by defeat at Southampton.
That was their fourth reverse from of the opening seven top-flight games, although Premier League opposition so far has come in the form of Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Looking beyond the scorelines, de Guzman reckons understanding within the team is developing as new players settle into the set-up.
"The more games we play together the better we are," said the Dutchman. "Win or lose, it's always a step forward for us — it's a lesson learned.
"We're growing as a team every day in practice, but the games are the most important thing.
"It's different playing in Europe, we've won our first two group games and everyone is just learning from the preparation of playing Thursday games and then at the weekend.
"Days are going by very fast, we have a game on Saturday, one in the week and then we're looking at next weekend.
"You have a rest day and then the next is preparation for the next game. It takes some getting used to, but we're getting there."
Swansea's form on the Continent has attracted widespread attention.
Less than a month after scoring against Valencia in Spain, Michu was called up by national team boss Vicente del Bosque.
The forward learned of his selection after Swansea's defeat at Southampton on Sunday and has since trained with the World and European champions.
He was pictured wearing a Spanish shirt and hopes to feature in a friendly against Belarus.
And Michu could win his first cap while wearing protective headgear after sustaining a cut in last Thursday's victory over St Gallen.
"I don't think that injury has affected him," said de Guzman.
"He's a strong guy, he's a big guy and you expect that from Michu.
"He's very passionate when he plays and you can see that — he's always yelling with his hands in the air.
"He has a love for the game and that really brings us forward."