Matt Grimes | We showed massive character

15th January 2023
First team
Matt Grimes

Captain Matt Grimes was proud of how his Swansea City side managed the game and a hostile atmosphere to pick up three points at Sunderland.

There were over 40,000 in attendance at the Stadium of Light, buoyed by the Black Cats five-match unbeaten run that has moved them to the brink of the play-off places.

And the volume was cranked up when Luke O'Nien was dismissed for a dangerous challenge on Ollie Cooper, moments after the home side felt they should have had a penalty.

It made for a febrile atmosphere, but the Swans kept their composure to eventually run out 3-1 winners.

And Grimes was pleased by how a side with a number of young players getting their first taste of playing in front of a crowd of that size handled themselves in the heat of the contest.

“I think coming away here is unbelievably difficult,” he said.

“It doesn’t really matter what the circumstances are, they’re a very good side and with their crowd it’s difficult, so it’s a massive three points for us.

“When you come here and something goes against them, it gets the fans up to get behind their team.

“That was the case here. They were down to 10 men, but the energy the crowd gave them made it difficult for us.

“We showed massive character. I don’t think the fact that they had 10 men should take anything away from how good a win this is.

“We’ve taken six points from a very, very good side this season so now we just have to kick on and see where it takes us.

"I think in this run, starting with the Watford game, we’ve been excellent. I thought we performed well against Burnley and the first half against Bristol City and then again here.

"We showed good patience and stuck to our guns. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing.”

The Swans didn’t have things all their own way in the fixture. It took until the 50th minute to break down the  well-organised hosts, with Joel Piroe finishing off the move, and the visitors were soon pegged back by a resilient Sunderland.

But goals from Liam Cullen and Ollie Cooper made sure the final stages of the game would be more comfortable for Russell Martin’s side.

“It was a bit of a setback to go to 1-1, but we stuck to our game plan and got the win in the end,” added Grimes.

"In any game you play you want to be first on the scoresheet, especially somewhere like here – you don’t want to give them something to hang on to.

“We showed the character to get two more goals, which we deserved.

“Sunderland are going to start really quickly here, which they did but once the game settled, they had a man sent off and the game changed from there.

“We had to make sure we were patient and kept doing what we planned and we got the win in the end.”

Off