Celina: Unity is key to success

4th September 2018
First team

Bersant Celina believes Swansea City’s close-knit mentality has helped the club ride among the Championship’s leading pack.

The Swans came from behind at Millwall to win 2-1 last weekend, despite seeing Courtney Baker-Richardson sent off after just five minutes at The Den.

Goals from sub Kyle Naughton and Oli McBurnie ensured Graham Potter’s side made it seven points from nine on their travels.

The Swans faced a tough test on a ground where Millwall had lost just once in their previous 17 league outings.

And Celina, a summer signing from Manchester City, believes the squad’s togetherness was a key factor behind their victory.

“We didn’t expect to be a man down after just a few minutes, but in football you have to react quickly to this type of thing,” said the Kosovan midfielder.

“What was important is that we didn’t cave in and concede soon after. A first goal can be followed by a second and third and the game is over and confidence is crushed.

“But we stuck together – players, staff and fans – and that was something that really stood out for me on Saturday. Everyone had to play their part and that’s what happened.

“It was a game where the players had to give everything they had and be brave.

“We all played in a number of positions in order to stop Millwall from breaking us down, and we did it very well. It was very intelligent of the manager to identify the positions we needed to be in.

“The fans, too, were absolutely amazing. All I could hear was our supporters signing away behind the goal.

“When we celebrated at the end, it was a feeling I can’t put into words. Seeing our fans so happy after the final whistle was incredible. They had got behind us all game and gave us extra energy after losing Courtney and when we had conceded.”

The Swans have won three, drawn two and lost one of their six games in the Championship so far, with Potter’s side sitting seventh in the table.

An opening-day win at Sheffield United was followed up by a 1-0 victory at the Liberty against Preston.

After banking a hard-earned point at Birmingham, the Swans played out thrilling 2-2 draw with Leeds in SA1 before Bristol City inflicted the first defeat of Potter’s reign.

And Celina felt it was important to bounce back against the Lions last weekend.

“We were gutted to lose at home to Bristol City, so we knew we had to go to a really tough place and pick up a result,” he added.

“They had only lost once since November at home, so it shows just how tough it is at Millwall.

“Now we have to push on and build on that result after the international break.”

He added: “We can be happy with our start – we have had many different types of performances in order to get points, particularly the one at Birmingham.

“But that’s all it is so far – a good start. We must continue to show our ability and togetherness as a team if we want to keep ourselves in the top section of the league.”