Bersant Celina has defended his impact at Swansea City this season and urged his critics to look beyond the statistics.
The Swans midfielder was a significant influence for his side as they won 1-0 at Luton Town at the weekend, to move into the play-off places until Sheffield Wednesday’s victory over Bristol City dropped them back to seventh.
Celina was recently left out by Swansea manager Steve Cooper and had become a target for some fans after some ineffective performances.
But in an interview with the club’s website, the Kosova midfielder said: “These days, attacking players are mainly judged on goals and assists.
“People don’t really look into games; they just look at the stats and judge you.
“We played so well and there were some great individual performances. I think I did well. I know that I have spells where I don’t score or assist as often as I want, but I never lose confidence and always keep striving to achieve my goals.
“I need to get back to scoring more goals and providing more assists. I want to do really well with this team so, hopefully, I can start providing again soon.”
Celina has not managed to score since August, but remains an integral part of Cooper’s plans and the manager has often stressed the impact the former Manchester City player has on the free-flowing football he wants his team to pursue.
Having restored him to the starting line-up, Cooper must now decide whether to stick with Celina for the upcoming festive fixtures against Brentford on Boxing Day, and then the two home games against Barnsley and Charlton.
Cooper was impressed by Celina’s contribution to the win over Luton and said: “We wanted to keep Andre Ayew and Bersant Celina out wider today as the pitch was narrow and because of the formation Luton played.
“The message for them both, in particular Bersant, was to be positive and get into one-on-ones.
“We knew we could get Bersant into positions at the edge of the box to play crosses in. But we anticipated that Luton would give him a lot of attention, so that opened up an opportunity for someone else.”