SWANSEA, Wales — Swansea moved out of the relegation zone following a slender 1-0 win over Watford in the English Premier League on Monday in front of newly-appointed head coach Francesco Guidolin.
Guidolin’s arrival was confirmed by Swansea earlier Monday and the 60-year-old was in the stands at the Liberty Stadium to see captain Ashley Williams head in the winner shortly before the half-hour mark.
Guidolin will work alongside Alan Curtis, who took over as interim manager after Garry Monk was fired last month.
"He’s a very experienced coach and it’s probably something we needed, an experienced leader. If he can get the performances and the results as well then I think that’s what we’re looking for," Curtis said following his final match in sole charge.
The loss condemned Watford to its fourth straight league defeat following a run of four consecutive wins that had led to manager Quique Sanchez Flores earning the manager of the month award for December.
Watford midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado had the visitors’ best opportunities to level. He almost netted an equalizer in the 66th but sent his shot wide from the edge of the area after a neat exchange with striker Odion Ighalo.
The Spaniard then missed with a volley from the edge of the area in the closing stages as Swansea held on for the win that ends a three-match run without a win.
"All the games are big for us now. We need points as quickly as possible and get up the table," Williams said after netting his first ever Premier League goal at the Liberty.
"We heard the news last night and everyone got onto Google to try and find out as much about him. It’s given everyone a bit of a lift and to try and go out onto the field and do as much as you can," Williams said of Guidolin’s move.
Both he and Curtis have contracts until the end of the season, with Swansea announcing in a statement Monday that Guidolin "will have the final say on team selection."