Russell Martin proud of performance despite frustration of late equaliser

31st August 2022
First team
Russell Martin

Head coach Russell Martin spoke of his pride in the performance of his Swansea City side, despite the frustration and disappointment of conceding a late equaliser at Stoke.

The Swans had looked on course for just a second win at the bet365 Stadium since 2001 after Joel Piroe’s second goal of the season had given them an early lead.

The visitors had opportunities to open up that lead, with Piroe, Ollie Cooper, Matt Grimes and Jay Fulton all having chances.

At the other end they had defended stoically against a bombardment of corners and long throws from the hosts, with Nathan Wood standing out in repelling the aerial threat.

But the three points were not to be as Tyrese Campbell swept home in the final seconds to provide more late heartbreak for the Swans.

And, while Martin acknowledged it was difficult to look past the disappointment of not securing three points, he felt there was plenty to take from the manner in which his side performed and fought for each other.

“It is a frustrating one,” he said.

“In the grand scheme of things, with it being Alex Neil’s first game in charge and our two results prior to this, you would probably have said a point would have been a good result before the game.

“But to concede so late is really frustrating, and it’s not easy to take that disappointment out of how you feel about the game.

“But I am proud of the intensity the guys showed and how they defended our goal. Most of Stoke’s threats were from corners and set-pieces, which they had too many of but I cannot remember Andy Fisher having many saves to make from them.

“We did not have as much control as usual with the ball as it’s a tough place to come to.

“You could see it was a young team out there on the pitch, and we did not take the chance to play in some moments where we could have.

“When we did play in the first half, I thought we caused them all sorts of problems, we looked really dangerous and Joel Piroe scored a great goal playing in his favoured position.

“In the second half we were not clean enough in our detail, and that can happen when you are not winning games.

“When that happens confidence is not as high as it could be, and we missed some real moments to counter and we should have made more of those moments.

Ollie Cooper Stoke

“So I am disappointed we have not won the game, but I am proud of the performance after the last two games.

“We showed a real hunger and desire, and a willingness to run for each other.

“I thought Ollie Cooper was outstanding, a young guy making his first league start for us, and there were some brilliant performances.

“We’re just not quite making that final step and getting the results. I am disappointed for the group, and I have said that to them in the dressing room.

“I cannot be angry about a performance like that, but I am disappointed to concede because we had the opportunity to clear the ball. We did not do it, it ends up in a set-piece and it was avoidable.

“But if we continue to perform like that and show that sort of energy and intensity, we will be more than alright.”