Oli pleased with a point

18th August 2018
First team

Oli McBurnie reckons the fighting spirit Swansea City showed to grind out a point at Birmingham City will stand Graham Potter’s side in good stead this season.

The Swans had to dig deep to earn a share of the spoils at St Andrew’s in a game which the Blues dominated.

Erwin Mulder, making his first start for the Swans, made a string of fine saves while captain Mike van der Hoorn, Martin Olsson and young duo Connor Roberts and Joe Rodon defended resolutely.

It was a backs-to-the-wall performance from Potter’s side, with McBurnie starved of any real action in the final third.

But the striker feels the team will benefit greatly from the type of defensive display they had to produce in the Midlands.

“It was a different challenge for us and we realised early on that we weren’t able to play the way we wanted,” said McBurnie.

“We had to grind it out and get what we could, and a point was a good outcome for us.

“They are a big, physical team and they made it difficult for us, but we showed we were resolute and compact.

“We showed a different side to our game against Birmingham – we stood up to them and didn’t allow them to bully us.

“Mike and Joe were excellent at the back while Erwin made some really good saves too, so we are strong defensively.”

He added: “Sometimes we will have games like that, and my game was about working for the team and staying alert in case something happened in the box.

“The manager was happy with the point and the clean sheet.

“Three games unbeaten with two clean sheets is a very good return.

“The whole squad knows, though, that we have plenty to improve on.”

McBurnie also praised Daniel James after the winger made his first league appearance for the club.

James, who scored on his Swans debut in the FA Cup win over Notts County last season, replaced Tom Carroll for the last 25 minutes.

And McBurnie was delighted for the 20-year-old.

“I was proud of Dan as he’s worked hard for his chance. We all know what he can do," he added.

“It was his league debut and we are all so happy for him.

“The manager has shown a lot of faith by not just including him in the squad but putting him on the pitch.

“Now we want to see him kick on from here and make many more appearances.”