O'Leary pleased with Swans reaction

8th October 2013

Kristian O'Leary says he was pleased with his young side's response to early season setbacks as they ran out 3-1 victors against Bristol City at Stebonheath Park.


Swans Under-21s have endured a difficult start to this season in the Professional Development League Two South, but goals from Ryan Hedges, Rory Donnelly and Lee Lucas ensured the youth side reacted in the perfect manner.


"It was a pleasing reaction to the last couple of games," said O'Leary. "We have worked on a few things over the previous couple of weeks.


"Certainly during the first-half, the boys did what was asked of them and worked together as a unit, which was really pleasing.


"We had a couple of boys coming back from long-term injuries, which was good as well.


"I was saying last night that seven of our starting line-up were 18-year-olds - one youth team player, the others being first year pros - so it was basically an under-19s side again.


"But they stood up to them physically - Bristol City are a big team - and we knew that they would cause us problems off the long ball and through set-plays.


"But they managed it well, even when we were under some pressure in the second-half.


"It wasn't a great second-half from us, but we coped with them well."


The result against Bristol City was the Swans' first win of the league season, but O'Leary was keen to stress that winning isn't everything at this level.


He added: "Every team wants a win but it's not solely about winning at this level; it's about developing the players.


"Rory Donnelly has played in the first-team this year, Ben Davies is now an example of it from previous seasons, and Josh Sheehan, who has just come back from six months out with a broken leg, travelled with the first-team for the game against Birmingham.


"Dan Alfei got called up to the full Welsh squad yesterday so he missed the game, and we have two of the other boys going away with under-21s, so that's the main aim for us.


"As a team and as individuals, it's about development, and that's what they are doing."