Friday 02 Mar
Updated Friday 02 Mar 16:30
Interviews

Hammers must be ready for resurgent Swansea – Joao Mario

Joao Mario training

 

West Ham United must be at their best this weekend if the team is to overcome a resurgent Swansea City side, according to Joao Mario.

 

The Hammers return to Premier League action on Saturday against a Swansea team that have only been defeated once in their last six matches in the top flight - a run that has coincided with the appointment of Carlos Carvalhal as their new manager.

 

That loss came in their last fixture, against Brighton and Hove Albion, but Mario is aware the Swans will be keen to continue their good form when the Irons visit the Liberty Stadium.

 

The midfielder has kept track of Swansea this season, with Portugal teammate Renato Sanches currently on loan at the south Wales side, and knows the danger Swansea possess.

 

“Since Carvalhal arrived, they have been doing great,” Mario told whufc.com. “One of my really good teammates from the international team – Renato Sanches – is down there as well, so I’ve been following them a bit this season.

 

Since Carvalhal arrived, they have been doing great...It's going to be a tough game for sure, and we need to make sure we are ready and at our best.

 

Joao Mario

 

“They’ve recovered well since the new coach went in. Okay, they lost their last game, but they’ve been playing much better and have moved into a much stronger position than they were in.

 

“They are at home and they will definitely be dangerous, with their home fans cheering them on. It’s going to be a tough game for sure, and we need to make sure we are ready and at our best.”

 

Both sides in this Saturday’s contest suffered 4-1 defeats last time out in the league, and Mario has called on the Irons to forget about that result against Liverpool and put everything into the coming fixture.

 

“Liverpool are a strong team and they are in a really good moment, so it was difficult for us, but I guess it was just one game. We need to let that game go into the past and focus on this Saturday now and try to get the three points.”

 

Mario has started the last four Premier League matches for West Ham, having signed on loan from Inter Milan in January, and is relishing his role at the east London side.

 

Joao Mario against Liverpool

 

The 25-year-old acknowledges the English game is a more physical style of football, but Mario is enjoying his position and is now focused on putting wins on the board.

 

“The Premier League is a new type of competition, and it’s taken a little getting used to,” he explained. “Everyone talks about how intense and physical this league is and, 100 per cent, it’s a completely different type of football. It’s a different world.

 

“I like this kind of football though. I think it’s been great for me. I’m developing, I’m improving and I’m really enjoying myself. I’m just keen to keep getting better.

 

“Of course, It’s always better when you’re starting matches and I have been playing regularly. I’ve liked the last few matches because I’ve been involved and I just want to help the team pick up as many points between now and the end of the season, starting against Swansea.”