by Julie Kissick & Adam Evans
DANIEL James has reiterated his ‘love’ for Swansea City and his desire to remain with the club.
The 21-year-old was man of the match in the dramatic FA Cup fifth round 4-1 win against Brentford, after scoring a wonder solo goal.
His second half contribution in particular, was instrumental in turning the game around after Graham Potter’s side went into the break a goal behind.
James, who almost signed for Leeds United on deadline day, is a firm favourite with the fans and he says, the feeling is mutual.
“I love this club and I am happy to go forward with it. I love playing for this team and I love playing for the fans so I’m just concentrating on that.”
The Welsh international is in new contract talks with the club, although he still has over a year left on his current deal.
“I’ve got 18 months left, at the moment I’m just concentrating on playing. There’s contract talks under way. I’m enjoying my football here, I’m loving every second of it.
“Playing for this club is amazing and the way the gaffer has brought me through. I love it here.”
Potter singled the Wales international out for special praise after his goal, which saw him sprint over 80 yards to put his side in the lead.
“He was okay, wasn’t he?” he joked.
“That ability to sprint repeatedly – it’s as high a level as you’re going to see. He’s got lots to work on, but he had an end product today and I thought he was sensational.
“He has just got on with being a footballer, he’s been incredible for us and we’re looking forward to working with him for the future.”
James said the side were naturally unhappy with their first half display. Potter’s words to them at half time injected a renewed air of confidence in the second half.
“Obviously we came in in the first half frustrated,” said James.
“I think they stopped us playing. We came back out and showed what we’re about. Everyone was brave on the ball. The gaffer spoke to us at half time and said ‘you’ve got to be braver’ and that’s what we were and we got the win.”
Brentford were reduced to 10-men after James was on the receiving end of a challenge from Ezri Konsa, which saw the defender issued with a red card.
He is no stranger to tough tackles, but it isn’t something he is bothered by.
“I think since the start of my career I have always got kicked and stuff. It’s just about mentally if you can handle it. It’s normal for me so you just have to let it go.”
James said the man advantage helped his side. He also credited his own hard-work on the training ground with enabling him to produce his solo goal.
“It’s fair to say I’ve been working on my composure a lot on the training ground. It’s about getting used to the league and I think I’ve grasped that now and the gaffer has really helped me.
“The sprinting comes naturally to me. All the boys always laugh about it, saying ‘why are you always sprinting?’ but that’s just my game.”
James is hoping for a home draw this evening following the conclusion of the Chelsea v Manchester United match at Stamford Bridge.
“We will take anyone, as long as it’s a home tie. But, we’ve got to be ready to go anywhere and get the win.”
A positive result in the quarter finals would secure a semi final place at Wembley. That is something James said he and his team-mates would relish.
“You always dream about it don’t you? Obviously we’re not there yet, we’ve got to go and win that quarter finals but I think how close we are now, I think all the boys are ready to go and be there.”
The Swans are ball number six in this evening’s draw.