Potter proud of youthful Swans

28th August 2018
First team

Graham Potter paid tribute to his youthful Swansea City side despite seeing them exit the Carabao Cup against Crystal Palace.

Potter made 10 changes to the team which started against Bristol City over the weekend as he drafted in a host of inexperienced players.

There were no fewer than seven Swans debuts handed out during the course of the evening, while another two players – Yan Dhanda and Daniel James – made first starts in senior football.

Teenager Brandon Cooper, fellow defender Cian Harries, midfielder George Byers and striker Courtney Baker-Richardson – none of whom has played senior football for the Swans before – began the game along with recent signing Declan John.

And there were two more Swans debuts in the second half as full-back Tyler Reid and forward Liam Cullen came off the bench.

And Potter felt his new-look team deserved credit for pushing Palace all the way, with Alexander Sorloth’s 70th-minute goal giving the Eagles a 1-0 win.

“We are disappointed with the result of course – I’m disappointed for the players because they put a lot into the game,” the Swans manager said.

“But I feel really proud of all the guys. I thought they played really well.

“They showed courage, quality, worked hard and created some chances. They looked like they enjoyed the experience and the opportunity and the crowd responded well to them.

“Overall, apart from the result, it was a really good evening.”

Palace also made a host of changes following their Premier League loss at Watford last weekend, but Roy Hodgson’s team featured plenty of experience.

The Swans starting XI, by contrast, had an average of just 22.9 years old.

“Credit to the players – they understood it was an opportunity for them and they showed what they are about,” Potter added.

“They brought their personality and quality to the game, which is not easy against a team with good players.

"Everything you want from a coach’s perspective was there. Of course it was not perfect so we can improve but overall, as a collective, I was very pleased.

“It was a good exercise for us and it was a good night in terms of demonstrating that we want to provide an opportunity for the players who are here.”

Potter welcomed the idea that the youngsters on show against Palace may have staked a claim for some Championship action.

“We need that environment where there’s opportunity and we also need healthy competition,” he continued.

“It doesn’t matter about your CV to a certain extent, it’s about whether you can bring your personality to the game.

“We ask our players to have courage and react to setbacks or mistakes and they showed real quality in doing that tonight.”