Carvalhal salutes Swans amid major upturn in form
Carlos Carvalhal saluted his Swansea players after their record 8-1 FA Cup demolition of Notts County for treating the minnows as if they were playing Arsenal or Liverpool.
Swansea strolled to their best-ever FA Cup victory with Tammy Abraham and Nathan Dyer both scoring twice before Kyle Naughton, Wayne Routledge, Tom Carroll and Daniel James added second-half goals.
The huge win came on the back of Swansea's Premier League revival under Carvalhal, which has seen them escape the bottom three after high-profile wins over Liverpool and Arsenal. "I'm very happy and very proud of my players," Carvalhal said after beating the Sky Bet League Two side.
"I talked to them before the game and said play with a high motivation as we did against Arsenal and Liverpool.
"Our challenge is to motivate the players when we play teams below us, because surprises appear when you are not completely focused and teams from another division take the game very serious.
"They are not a weak team, they are doing very well in their league, and put Brentford out of the cup away and played a difficult first game against us.
"But we played like we did against Liverpool and Arsenal and this makes all the difference."
Swansea will now play Sheffield Wednesday in the fifth round on February 17.
It means a quick Hillsborough return for Carvalhal, who left the Championship club on Christmas Eve after spending two-and-a-half years at Wednesday.
"I feel that I will be back home," Carvalhal said.
"I was very happy there, my second season was the best rating of points in the last 50 years, and we also had the third best record of points in the club's history. We achieved two play-offs, one final and one semi-final - something very strong in my opinion.
"I do not have anything to prove, in fact the exact opposite. I have a fantastic relationship with the chairman (Dejphon Chansiri) and I will give him a big hug.
"Some people were not happy but when they put emotion aside they know we gave everything to the club."
Abraham scored his first goals since October 14 after Carvalhal had demanded an improvement from the England striker.
"He is progressing, he scored goals and had one assist also," Carvalhal said. "But he knows that he can do better and we still think that he can do better. We will try to push him to the next level."
Notts County manager Kevin Nolan admitted his side could not live with Swansea's Premier League class. They were at another level and sometimes you've just got to say you have been beaten by a fantastic performance," Nolan said.
"Their finishing was Premier League standard and if you give them opportunities they are going to punish you. Some of our players maybe froze and did not react to the same standard as the rest of the season."