Russell Martin | I am so proud of the mentality we showed
Russell Martin hailed the mentality of his Swansea City side as they rounded off the 2022-23 season with a thrilling 3-2 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Swansea.com Stadium.
The Swans made it 23 points from the last 27 available as Joel Piroe struck his 20th goal of the campaign with almost the last kick of the game.
The hosts had twice trailed to the play-off chasing Baggies – who had to win to have any chance of securing a top-six finish – as Okay Yokuslu and Semi Ajayi netted.
But Luke Cundle’s third goal of the season and a fine solo finish from Olivier Ntcham got Swansea back on level terms before the dramatic denouement.
And head coach Martin was proud of the application his side showed despite them theoretically not having as much at stake as the Baggies.
“It was a nice feeling to finish the season like that,” said Martin.
“It was a really good game between two really good teams.
“Carlos is a really good coach and has a team with a lot of athleticism, and they were fighting to reach the play-offs.
“But we played like we were playing for everything, and that mentality was the best thing for me, in particular the courage we showed after making a mistake for their first goal.
“It was disappointing but we stayed true to what we are about as a side and we deserved to win, and I am really proud of the players.”
The result saw the Swans finish 10th in the table, just three points off the play-off places, and Martin acknowledged there was a sense of frustration at going so close.
“I am frustrated and will be for a while, but with everything that has been thrown at us this season, I am so proud of the players,” he added.
“I am proud of how the team looks and how everyone has grown, it’s incredible.
“Guys like Ollie Cooper, Liam Cullen, Joel Piroe, Nathan Wood; they have most importantly grown as people as well as players. They are authentic and true to themselves, and that is not common in football.
“That’s why they can play how they do, because of the culture we have created here and it is the best thing to watch.
“We will all be frustrated to be so close, but it is testament to the hard work everyone has put in that we have improved on last season in every way.”