Richards: Win was most important thing
Gary Richards praised Swansea City Under-23s’ character after they survived Colchester United’s fightback before prevailing 4-3 winners in the Premier League Cup.
Despite being pegged back to 3-3 from 3-1 up at Weston Homes Community Stadium, Kenji Gorre scored the winner as the young Swans moved to within three points of Newcastle United and Burnley with two games remaining in Group D.
Richards believes the overall performance left a lot to be desired but insisted that claiming maximum points was the most important thing.
“Our performance levels were not where we would have liked them, but we continued to fight to earn the win which is pleasing,” the U23s coach said.
“We made the game too hard for ourselves. It is the type of game where we should not have been hanging on again.
“The first half was promising, we created plenty of chances, but we ended up having to grind out a result which was frustrating for us.
“Our performance in the second half was not to our usual standard and it was frustrating to be pegged back once again and to lose a two-goal advantage like we did against Derby earlier this month.
“But we showed our character to retake the lead a minute after they drew level. The game was in a place where we could have easily lost, so Kenji’s goal came at a good time and was vital for us on the night.”
The young Swans’ remaining fixtures are against the top two sides in Group D, starting with a home clash against Newcastle on February 12 before travelling to Burnley two weeks later.
And Richards knows that they must win both matches to keep their title defence alive by progressing to the knockout stages of the competition.
“We are the holders of this cup and we want to put up a good fight to retain the title,” he added.
“The win was very important for us. We still have two games to come in the group stage, if we win those we can progress to the knockout stage.
“Our games against Newcastle and Burnley will be difficult but we are still in with a chance which is important.”