Gary Richards | We must be more clinical

1st December
Gary Richards

Gary Richards feels Swansea City Under-23s were punished for lacking a clinical edge in their Premier League Cup defeat by Colchester United.

The development side suffered their second loss in this season's competition as they were beaten 1-0 by the Professional Development League outfit.

Michael Fernandes’ 24th-minute strike settled the Group A contest at Landore, where the young Swans were beaten in the tournament for the first time since February 2017.

The hosts began brightly and created a host of good opportunities to break the deadlock, but were unable to take them and subsequently punished as a long ball over the top of the defence was latched onto by Fernandes, who ran in goal and slotted past Lewis Webb.

The Swans struggled to build momentum as they chased an equaliser in the second half, and Richards believes his side were made to rue those missed first-half opportunities.

“We’re really disappointed. We were punished for not taking our chances in the first half,” the under-23s coach said.

“We started well but through a bit of bad luck, good goalkeeping and a couple of efforts we should have done better with, we ended up without any goals.

“What can happen then is that you’re prone to one sucker punch. From our corner and throw-in, we didn’t look after the ball. Then all of a sudden, there’s a long ball over the top and we go in at half-time 1-0 down.

“Because of that, human nature is that you try to force things. As a result, the second half became messy and we didn’t play the football that we wanted or expected to.

“With credit to Colchester, they made things very difficult for us but we did help them a little with sloppy play on the ball and making poor decisions for the want of trying to get a goal.

“It was a harsh lesson today. The players have learned that when you get opportunities to finish teams off, you simply have to take them.”