Russell Martin | Our mentality in both boxes is continuing to cost us

27th December 2022
First team
Russell Martin Reading

Head coach Russell Martin says Swansea City’s lack of a ruthless mentality in both boxes is costing them dearly after seeing his side lose 2-1 at Reading.

The Swans boss had spoken in the build-up of the need not to concede the first goal, and not to concede from set-pieces at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

Yet Reading opened the scoring from a free-kick as Steven Benda’s punch fell kindly for Andy Carroll to fire home.

Yakou Meite then missed a penalty for the hosts after a foul from a corner, before Tom Ince doubled their lead after the Swans had given the ball away on the edge of their own area.

Substitute Liam Cullen pulled a goal back after Joel Piroe’s header had struck the post, with Harry Darling unable to convert a gilt-edged chance with a header in the final seconds as the visitors suffered a first defeat in Berkshire since 2008.

And Martin could not hide his frustration that failings he has had to highlight far too frequently, continue to plague his team.

“I think we have spoken about the same things far too many times. We are having the same conversation after far too many games,” he said.

“We don’t just dominate the ball, we dominate every aspect of the game. We have more shots and better chances.

“We concede a penalty from a set-piece because we don’t want to fight properly.

​​​​​​“We concede a goal from a set-piece that shouldn’t have been, we have a chance to deal with the ball, but we don’t.

“We then make a crazy decision to foul someone who is facing the corner flag. We give away a free-kick, we concede and we end up chasing again.

“We had chances. Ollie Cooper should score, Joel Piroe should score. We don’t, and again it’s that problem in both boxes.

“We give away a second goal which is pathetic. We don’t follow the detail and that will perpetuate a myth that we concede loads of goals doing that, when we don’t.

“It’s attack versus defence for the rest of the game, and we get one back, but we don’t go on and score the second one because they defend their box with a mentality that is horrible, willing to fight, aggressive, and they are great at it.

“They have experience in the team, physicality, and they showed a mentality in both boxes that we don’t have at the minute.

“That is why we are where we are in the league. We don’t put points on the board. We function so well between the boxes, but we have a real problem with the mentality in our box because we do not give up a massive amount of chances but we are conceding from those situations too often.

“The goals we concede are hurtful, they are poor. We don’t make teams work for their goals when we have to work so hard to break teams down.”