Proud Potter salutes Swans
Graham Potter paid tribute to his youthful Swansea City team after they showed style and steel in their 1-0 victory over Preston North End.
The Swans made it two victories from two at the start of 2018-19 thanks to a gutsy effort against a strong Preston side.
Potter’s men dominated the first half, and deservedly led at the break thanks to Jay Fulton’s 33rd-minute header.
The Swans had missed an early penalty, with Oli McBurnie seeing his low effort saved by Declan Rudd, and the only disappointment at half-time was that they were not further ahead.
Preston came back into the contest in the second period, with Alex Neil’s men putting pressure on the home goal for long spells.
But keeper Erwin Mulder – who had come on for his debut after Kristoffer Nordfeldt limped off with a groin problem in the 21st minute – made a couple of smart saves as the Swans held on for victory in front of a vociferous Liberty crowd.
“I am proud of the players and I am proud of the supporters – I thought they were both tremendous,” Potter said.
“It was a really difficult game. Alex’s team were really good. They made it difficult for us and we had to ride our luck at times.
“We started well, then we missed a penalty and we lost our goalkeeper to injury.
“We could have felt sorry for our ourselves, but we showed some flashes of quality.
“We were not perfect, but people keep talking about how tough the Championship is – and I agree with them – and you have to be able to defend your box.
“You have to be resilient – you can’t just rely on playing possession football.
“If you do not show the other side, you are dead in any league. We have an idea about a certain philosophy, but part of the process is that you respect the league you are in and respect your opponents.
“We were hanging on a little bit, but you can understand that maybe after the week we have had.
“I am proud that the players were able to do that and also I am proud of the environment the fans created.”
After watching his team dig in for victory, Potter made a point of saluting a home crowd of more than 19,000 at full time.
“We knew we were up against it at 1-0 – we were penned in a bit at the end,” he added.
“But I always think 1-0 is the best result in football because you have to show character to get the win.
“After the week we’ve had, I think the players are really thankful for the support we had. It was amazing.
“We were not perfect, but I think the supporters will go home appreciating the effort the players put in and also what we are trying to do.”