Potter's Swans pride

23rd October 2018
First team

Graham Potter heaped praise on his Swansea City players after they dug themselves out of a hole to claim a rousing victory over Blackburn Rovers.

The Swans struggled to get going in the opening 45 minutes against Tony Mowbray’s Rovers side and went in at the break 1-0 down after Charlie Mulgrew’s penalty.

But Potter’s men turned the contest around after the break to secure a first win in four matches.

David Raya’s own goal brought the Swans level on 64 minutes, the ball bouncing over the line via the Rovers keeper’s back after Jay Fulton’s long-range drive had come back off the post.

Connor Roberts’s smart finish put the Swans ahead four minutes later before Bersant Celina sealed the points late on.

“That second-half performance came from the players,” Potter said.

“The one thing you can never accuse them of is not being honest. They are a young group and they are an honest group.

“We have been on a bit of a bad run. There’s a certain nervousness around and I don’t think we were ourselves in the first half.

“We got a bit confused and I take responsibility for that.

“There wasn’t much in the game in the first half but the penalty changes everything, although I would say it wasn’t a good performance from us.

“But the second half was probably as good a response as you will get.

“I am proud of the players because they put everything into that second half.”

Potter sent on Fulton and Leroy Fer at the break, and the two midfielders were influential as the Swans turned the contest around.

Potter praised the duo – but insisted the revival was thanks to a better collective effort.

“They both did really well but I would say it was a team thing. Mike van der Hoorn won a header in the first action of the second half and that set us off,” he added.

“We were more on the front foot. We played with an aggression which got the crowd with us.

“We want to play and pass the ball, but at the same time you have to show enthusiasm and fight.

“I said at half-time that we needed to lift our intensity because it was too comfortable for Blackburn in the first half.

“We didn’t say too much. These players are good lads and they are learning – we haven’t got a group of 28-year-olds who have played 300 Championship games each.

“As much as we want to play nice football, the reality is that we have to have a bit of pain. We have to suffer and we have to come through that, and the players’ response tonight was fantastic.”