Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin believes there could be “some better moments” ahead for his players as they look to halt an early season slide.
The Swans host unbeaten Manchester City for a second time in four days on Saturday, with Premier League points rather than an EFL Cup last-16 place the target.
And although the Welsh club have gone four games without a win following City’s 2-1 Liberty Stadium triumph, Guidolin took heart from a vastly improved showing after last weekend’s tame 1-0 loss to Southampton.
The manager made eight changes, with the likes of record signing Borja Baston and recalled Wales international Neil Taylor among those who made an impression as Swansea now build towards another City encounter, followed by tackling Liverpool seven days later.
Speculation continues to rage that Guidolin’s reign could prove short-lived, although it is understood that he currently has backing from the Swans’ American owners.
“I am optimistic because I saw my players play a good game,” said Guidolin, who opted to ignore questions about his future.
“At Southampton, we deserved to lose. But in this game we started very well, with focus, aggression, intensity and good ball possession.
“We just have to look forward. If we play well and work hard, I think we are going to have some better moments.
“Saturday against Manchester City will be more difficult than this (EFL Cup tie). They had a very good team, even if they played without some players, but on Saturday there will be new important players here.
“But we have to prepare a good game and we have to play well, and then we will see.
“The performance of my team for me was good – in the first half and the second half – but sometimes little things go against you, and in this case it was a deflection on the first goal.”