Russell Martin | There was very little between the two teams

2nd January 2023
First team

Russell Martin was proud of his Swansea City side’s performance against Championship table-toppers Burnley but frustrated they had not been able to take something from an entertaining contest at the Stadium.

An Ian Maatsen brace gave the visitors a two-goal lead inside 22 minutes, but the Swans were well-deserving of their goal when Ollie Cooper reacted fastest to tap in the rebound after Arijanet Muric was unable to hold Jay Fulton’s shot from distance.

The sides went toe-to-toe for the remainder of the game, but the Swans were unable to find an all important second goal.

The Clarets hold a commanding six-point lead at the top of the Championship, and are 14 points ahead of third-placed Blackburn Rovers as they look destined for an immediate return to the Premier League.

But it was fine margins in SA1 as the Swans lost 2-1 in a game where they went toe to toe with a side who have lost just twice in the league all season.

“I thought there was very little between the two teams,” said head coach Martin.

“We were too timid in the first 15 minutes, and paid them a bit too much respect.

"But after that, for the next 30 minutes, we were outstanding. We caused them all sorts of problems and out of possession we were aggressive.

“We probably should have made more of the good moments that we had, but I’m really proud of that performance.”

There was still some frustration for Martin, however, as he lamented the manner of the goals the Swans conceded.

The first was a free-kick from distance, while the second was a long-range effort, with the goals giving Burnley a 2-0 lead despite not having a single touch in the Swansea box.

“I’m proud of the players I thought they were very good in large parts but I’m frustrated and disappointed that we’ve lost to two such poor goals,” Martin added.

“The difference between the two teams over the course of the season is that they don’t concede those goals and they make very few mistakes that lead to goals and we make too many.

“We had to work so hard to score the goal that we scored.

“In the second half, it was a bit messy, but that probably suited them more. I thought it was a good game between two good teams who really try to play in a certain way.”