Anthony Wright | We paid for a lack of urgency

2nd October 2023
Anthony Wright

Swansea City Under-21s’ coach Anthony Wright felt his side had paid for a lack of urgency in their performance after they twice relinquished the lead in a 4-4 draw with Watford at Landore.

Kyrell Wilson had given the hosts an ideal start in this Professional Development League encounter with two fine finishes, and the Swans looked well in control when Liam Smith made it 3-0 with 36 minutes on the clock.

However, Watford got one back quickly through Jack Grieves, and goals in quick succession early in the second half from Edward Gyamfi and James Collins had the Hornets level.

Wilson looked to have given the Swans the points when he completed his treble in the closing stages, but Gyamfi got his second of the game for Watford as it ended all-square.

The result kept Swansea’s unbeaten home record intact, but Wright admitted his side had not been at the level required.

“I just felt like there was a real lack of urgency about our performance,” he said.

“We did not have the intensity we needed to show, and we are really disappointed with that.

“We have scored goals and led the game comfortably but, even so overall, we did not have that urgency in our play with or without the ball.

“We talked about it as a group at half-time, but even after that we did not address it and it’s a dangerous trap to fall into.

“They came out and pressed us a bit higher, got a goal back and it’s really difficult as a team to start to go through the gears if you have not been at the right level from the start.

“I praise the group often enough, and they are an honest group, and I am sure they will be when we sit down and go through it."

The game saw Swansea defender Jack Stafford make his return from over 18 months out with a career-threatening knee injury.

And Wright praised the centre-half and the academy medical team for the work and application they had put in to getting Stafford ready to play again.

Jack Stafford

“When we reflect today, that will be one of the things we take from it because that was great for Jack,” he said.

“He has been out for 18 months, he had a career-threatening injury and he and our medical staff – like Jordan Beech (head of academy physiotherapy) – have done an incredible job.

“Jack has applied himself incredibly well over these last 18 months, he has been consistently working, doing the extras to get himself into the position he is in today.

“Whatever the state of the game was, he was always going to get those minutes and that is the biggest bonus of the day for us.”