Jon Grey | Newcastle defeat a huge learning curve

3rd February
Jon Grey

Jon Grey believes the defeat by Newcastle United provided Swansea City Under-23s with a huge learning curve that will serve them well in their development going forward.

A much-changed Swans side from last week’s Premier League International Cup victory were beaten 4-0 by the Magpies on a difficult afternoon at Landore.

The development side, whose starting 11 consisted of just two players aged 20 or over as well as two trialists, suffered only their second defeat in seven matches across all competitions.

Despite their opponents arriving in South Wales off the back of three consecutive league defeats on the road, the Swans were no match for Newcastle, who acquitted themselves very well on the way to a morale-boosting victory.

Although disappointed by the manner of the defeat, Grey is confident the lessons learned from the experience will serve his players well in the long run.

“It’s a huge learning curve for the players. It’s been a lesson in terms of expectation,” the under-23s coach.

“We asked the boys to perform a number of things on the pitch, but there were far too many who didn’t perform to the level that they have over the last six games.

“All credit to Newcastle; I thought they performed very well today. For our players, the lesson is that you have to perform for 90 minutes and cannot switch off for one second at this level, otherwise teams will punish you.

“Today’s game showed them what is expected at this level and how they have to perform and apply themselves. That is the biggest thing we’ll take from the game.

“They will learn a lot and that will be very good for their development.”

On a more positive note, the Swans welcomed back Jordon Garrick and Daniel Williams after four months out through injury.

Meanwhile, in the absence of the in-form Liam Cullen, Arnor Gudjohnsen led the line in attack as he made his first start at under-23 level. 

“The positives from today were the returns of a couple of players from injury,” Grey added.

“It was great to see Jordon get 45 minutes under his belt, while Daniel managed to get 60 after a long time out.

“It was also Arnor’s first start of the season and he’s got through 90 minutes, so we’re pleased with that.”