O'Leary pleased with performance

25th October 2013

Kristian O'Leary was delighted with his side's performance after the Swans Under-21s ran out 2-1 victors away to Crystal Palace.

After a good home win against Bristol City, the previous week, the Swans made it back-to-back league victories courtesy of Kris Scott's first goal for the club and a late winner from Rory Donnelly.

Scott opened the scoring with a calm finish from six-yards after latching onto Henry Jones' cutback pass.

 O'Leary's side had opportunities to extend their lead, but with three minutes of normal time remaining, Palace grabbed an equaliser through Sullay Kaikai.

It looked as though the two sides would each take a point from the game, only for Donnelly to side-foot home with one of the last kicks of the game.

It was the perfect reaction to the cruel blow of conceding a late equaliser, and O'Leary believes it was just reward for his side's performance.

"We played really well," said O'Leary. "Even though it was only 2-1, it was a comfortable 2-1 win." 

"The boys showed great spirit to come back at the end, and I think, psychologically, scoring the winner in the last minute was almost better than winning 1-0.

"Our main objective is obviously about the development of the players, but football is about winning. 

"It's not always going to be the case at this level, because of the amount of changes we have, but it's good for the confidence.

"The only thing I would say is that I think we need to work on our decision making in the final third. 

"In the first half, especially, we got into situations where we had opportunities to score but either our decision making was wrong or the quality wasn't quite good enough, and that's why we entered half-time at 0-0. 

"But overall, it was a very good test for us, and it was good to win away from home against a physically strong Crystal Palace side."

Rory Donnelly's late winner for the Swans was his fourth goal in five games for the U21s, while Kris Scott picked up an assist and his first strike since signing from Stoke in the summer.

The two youngsters put in excellent performances on Tuesday afternoon, and O'Leary was keen to praise them both.

"Rory's just got to continue what he's doing," explained O'Leary. "He made an impact in the summer in pre-season with the first team, and he's continued from there. 

"It's his challenge now to keep his standard high, his training good and to keep pushing himself.

"It was also good to see Kris Scott get a goal. I've watched a lot of him, albeit on DVDs and scouting systems. 

"He's got that ability to score goals and to create chances, and that's what he did on Tuesday."

The U21s will now begin their preparation for next Tuesday's Premier League Cup tie at home to Millwall (Oct 29, 2pm), hoping to make it through to face one of Watford or Plymouth Argyle in the next round.

And O'Leary hopes his side can maintain their winning run.

He added: "As a group we have trained extremely hard on certain elements of our game, since we played Cardiff in September. 

"They're all looking fit and starting to play together as a unit. 

"It's a challenge for them to replicate what they did on Tuesday - the standard, the energy, the confidence - next week against Millwall."