First TeamLiverpool defender hopes not to repeat "Swansea eye-opener"

Liverpool defender hopes not to repeat “Swansea eye-opener”

It is fair to say that Rhys Williams spell at Swansea did not go to plan for either party with the defender failing to nail down a regular place in the Swans line up and being recalled early by Liverpool back in January.

Williams has been putting back in performances for the Under-23s since returning to Anfield  at the end of that loan spell and says now that he is ready for another spell away from Anfield with a Championship club the likely destination for next season.

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Williams made just seven loan appearances for the Swans and, in an interview with Goal magazine, he has suggested that he was not trusted by Russell Martin when he said that he needs to “find a manager that will back me and trust me.”

It was just three appearances from the end October for Williams which told probably the rough story of the loan of a player who was unfortunately subject to some racist abuse at Luton in a 3-3 draw back in September – just his second appearance for the club.

Williams used the Goal interview to outline what was next for him in his career when he said “It wasn’t the way I saw it panning out, but I’ve tried to take as much as I possibly can from it.”

At the time of signing for the Swans, Williams declared his delight at making the move to a team he described as “playing the best football in the Championship.”

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However, reflecting back now he says “Football isn’t always going to go the way you want it to, so [Swansea] was an eye-opener to the other side, and it’s making me work even harder to make sure it doesn’t happen to me again.

“I know that it’s far too soon for me to be thinking about getting ahead of these great defenders that we have, so the plan is to get a loan that works for me, to find a manager that will back me and trust me.

“The experiences of the last 18 months will help me. Swansea was disappointing but it’s gone now, and it doesn’t have to define me. I know what I can do and what I’m capable of.

“I just need a chance to show it now.”

Williams also opened up on that racist abuse at Luton which was immediately reported to Bedfordshire Police but he admits that it did take his mind off the football for a while.

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“It really affected me,” he says. “I’d had it before with England when we played Mexico, but this was worse. It was directed straight at me and I could see the intention.

“I’m not going to use it as an excuse, but I didn’t feel in the right frame of mind to be on the pitch for a good few weeks after it.

“I don’t think playing helped me. Unless you’ve experienced it, I don’t think you understand.

“I was low on confidence and my head wasn’t really on football. That’s what I love doing, and if I can’t even do that without this happening, then it’s almost like what’s the point? Where can you go to escape it?

“You go on a football pitch to compete, to entertain, to make people proud, and this happens. It was a big kick in the teeth, and for a good few weeks I wasn’t enjoying my football anything like as much.”

Williams destination for next season remains very much unknown but it is clear that it will be away from Anfield and whilst Swansea will clearly not be amongst the interested parties, there will be those in SA1 keeping a keen eye on his future progress regardless of how his time here turned out.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Very good young player whose qualities were not appreciated or valued by us – despite the fact that he had played 20 odd times for the Liverpool first team the previous season. If he was good enough to have made it into the Liverpool first team he was certainly good enough for us and he would have grown further and made a significant contribution to our cause during the season. Williams speaks well and with insight about his time at Swansea. Let down by poor psychology and judgment call by Martin and judging by our porous defence and with a midfield always vulnerable to direct attack, Martin missed a trick by not placing his trust in Williams.

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Phil Sumblerhttp://www.planetswans.co.uk
Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

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