Jon Grey hails "outstanding" defensive showing

7th January 2020
Jon Grey

Swansea City Under-23s interim coach Jon Grey has hailed the outstanding defensive efforts of his side in their win over Stoke City in Premier League 2 Division Two.

The young Swans made a winning start to 2020 as Liam Cullen’s first-half penalty was enough to secure a hard-earned 1-0 victory.

The visitors were made to work for the three points and had to remain switched on throughout the contest to defend Stoke’s direct play on a bobbly pitch at Harrison Park – home of non-league side Leek Town.

However the hosts, who occupy fourth place in the table, were unable to find a way past goalkeeper Josh Gould, and the stubborn back four of Tivonge Rushesha, Cameron Evans, Jake Thomas and Matthew Blake.

And Grey was delighted by the manner in which his side ground out a positive result – their second win in three games.

“We had to win ugly and we did, which was really pleasing,” the under-23s coach said.

Liam Cullen 16x9

“I thought our defensive display was outstanding. The back four defended really well on a very difficult pitch – especially the two centre-halves.

“It was a bobbly, difficult surface, so we had to cope with direct play from Stoke.

“We tried to play but we ended up having to grind out the result in a different way to normal, which is another good learning experience for the players.

“They had to do the hard side of the game – the running and tackling – and each to a man, they all did it brilliantly.

“I’m really happy to come away with a clean sheet. We could have created a few more chances had we taken a bit more care with the ball on the turnover.

“But overall, I’m delighted with the way the boys applied themselves and went about getting the result.”