Potter's pride after debut triumph

4th August 2018
First team

Graham Potter saluted his players – and the fans – after his first game as Swansea City boss ended in a thrilling victory at Sheffield United.

The Swans marked their return to the second tier by winning a league game at Bramall Lane for the first time since 1939.

It was also the club’s maiden away success in 2018, and it came in dramatic fashion.

Potter’s side fell behind when George Baldock steered the ball beyond Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

But the Swans roared back into the contest, and levelled nine minutes later when a sweet move ended with Oli McBurnie firing home his first league goal for the club.

The visitors kept on pushing to find a winner and, after Barrie McKay hit the bar, they did just that with four minutes remaining.

Sub Jefferson Montero made good ground down the left and his deep cross reached McKay.

The Scot appeared to be tripped but it did not matter, because Yan Dhanda – who had only been on the pitch for a matter of seconds – found the target with his first touch in senior football.

“I am delighted with the result and I am very proud of many aspects of the performance,” Potter said.

“We were not perfect, as you would expect, but it’s the opening game of the season and the start of a process.

“When we went a goal down, you are wondering how we will respond, but the players were amazing and all credit to them.

“To turn a game round at a fantastic football club like this says a lot about the character and determination of the players.

“I am very proud of the players. I am pleased for them and I am also pleased for the supporters.

“I thought our fans were fantastic. They stuck with us and supported us throughout in a hostile environment.

“They could see we were not perfect but they could also see we were trying and they supported us.

“I am pleased they can go home happy because I imagine they have had a few disappointing away trips in recent times.”

The victory was a dream start for Potter following his decision to leave Ostersund in the summer to take charge in SA1.

He fielded a youthful team which included a handful of new recruits as well as a number of players who do not have a great deal of Swans appearances under their belts.

But the new-look line-up came together to produce a rousing result.

“I thought in the first half we kept the crowd quiet. We limited Sheffield United but felt we could improve in terms of our play on the ball,” Potter added.

“In the second half we played well. We were set back by their goal – there were a couple of errors and they punished us.

“But all the substitutes had a real impact. That is pleasing because you are not going to do anything with 11 players.

“Yan has the knack of popping up with a goal. It was an attacking substitution, but we felt we were in the ascendancy.

“It was a bit of a gamble but thankfully it came off for us.”