Korey Smith | We have to build on that first-half performance

9th March
First team
Boro away Korey Smith 1

Korey Smith felt there was much to be proud of in Swansea City's first-half display against Fulham, but acknowledged there were also lessons to be learned from a tough second half played entirely with 10 men.

The Swans went toe-to-toe with the runaway Championship leaders at the Swansea.com Stadium, and an engrossing encounter was in the offing.

But a red card for Ryan Manning towards the end of the opening period completely changed the game, and Fulham took full advantage as they claimed a 5-1 victory.

Joel Piroe headed in his 16th of the season to pull it back to 3-1 before a Neco Williams brace put the game to bed.

“It’s hard when you go down to 10 men against a team that score that many goals,” said midfielder Smith, who has played at wing-back and full-back in the last two games.

“From where I was it didn’t look like a red but I was really proud of that first-half performance. I thought the boys were amazing; we had 70 to 75 per cent possession.

“I think we really would have worn them down and would have got a few goals. We played some really good stuff and then obviously the red card happened.

“The red card changes everything. Maybe we can look at what we could do different if we go down to 10 men again, and learn from that, but it’s obviously not easy against a side who are having the season they are.

"But we’ve had two really good results, we played really well in the first half against the league leaders so we’ve just got to look forward and on to the next one.”

The Swans conceded just 13 seconds into the second half and a second goal followed less than 10 minutes later, and Smith admits the hosts game management is an area they need to improve on.

Swansea have bounced back strongly from setbacks before, however, and Smith backs himself his team-mates to do it again at Blackpool this weekend

“The second half was frustrating, we maybe should have been a little bit smarter on a few decisions,” he added.

“They’ve got top players and can bring on fresh players, so it’s always going to be hard work against them because they can do what they did in that second half against 11 men.   

“We’ve got to take the positives though, that first-half performance was brilliant and we’ve got to take that from the game.  

“We had quite a heavy loss against Sheffield United and we bounced back very well.

"We’ve got an opportunity to do that again on Saturday and we’ve got a lot of games to come between now and the international break.

"We’ll be looking to continue our good performances that we’ve had over the last few games until that red card and hopefully get the result.”