'I'm proud to coach this club'

1st September 2018
First team

Graham Potter insisted he was proud to be Swansea City boss after seeing his 10-man team claim a remarkable 2-1 win at Millwall.

The Swans were a man light for 85 minutes of normal time – plus a total of 10 minutes’ stoppage time – after Courtney Baker-Richardson was sent off for an ugly tackle just five minutes into his Football League debut.

Potter’s side kept Millwall at bay until Murray Wallace headed the hosts in front on 62 minutes.

But the Swans refused to crumble, and levelled 14 minutes later when Jefferson Montero made ground down the left before feeding Kyle Naughton.

The right-back was playing as an emergency midfielder after Leroy Fer and Martin Olsson limped off, and he netted only his second Swans league goal with a fabulous finish from 20 yards.

The Swans were not finished there, as Montero burst onto Bersant Celina’s pass and squared for Oli McBurnie to tuck home the winner five minutes from time.

“When you look at the game in its entirety, we were playing with 10 men for 90-odd minutes and we went a goal down,” Potter said.

“We didn’t cave in at that point. We stuck with it and I thought we carried as much of a threat as we could with 10 men.

“We showed real courage. The players were wonderful – amazing – and the supporters behind the goal were just as good.

“I am very, very proud to be the coach of Swansea City tonight because I thought we were magnificent.”

Despite a turbulent summer which has seen a host of senior players leave the Liberty, Potter’s youthful Swans side head into the season’s first international break with 11 points on the board after six league games.

For a club who are rebuilding following relegation from the Premier League, that is a more than respectable return.

Their third victory of the season was the most remarkable yet, for Millwall are formidable opponents on their own patch – they had lost one in 17 at home in the league before today – and were in the driving seat from the moment Baker-Richardson was dismissed.

“There was no malice in the challenge, but it’s one of those where you know you are in trouble,” Potter added.

“He is excited, on his debut, and it’s not a good challenge. I can understand why the red card has been given.

“I thought we did quite well defensively after that. Millwall didn’t create that many clear chances and it was disappointing that the goal came from a corner.

“But in the second half I forgot we were down to 10 men at times.

“Oli was on his knees by the end and Kyle was trying his best in midfield, but the most important thing – as I have said before – is that we have players who want to be here and are proud to represent this club.

“Hopefully the fans behind the goal have gone home happy because I know they have had some tough times in the last couple of years.

“We have 11 points and that doesn’t happen by accident. That is a result of a lot of character from the players and a lot of hard work by the staff.”