Russell Martin | We did it our way, it was great to deliver for our supporters
Russell Martin was delighted to give Swansea City fans a better night on the road and felt his side had done it their way in claiming a 2-0 win at West Brom.
Late goals from Joel Piroe and Cyrus Christie gave the Swans the spoils at The Hawthorns, as they won at the home of the Baggies for the first time since 2013.
It was also a first three-point haul away from home since November, and was an excellent response to what head coach Martin and his players had acknowledged were disappointing away showings at Stoke and Sheffield United.
Martin felt the result was reward for an awful lot of hard work on the training pitch, and players, staff and fans certainly enjoyed celebrating it at the final whistle.
“It was an incredible night and I am really pleased for the supporters because they have deserved a bit better away from home,” said the Swans boss.
“They have been brilliant, even through some difficult afternoons recently away from home, so I am pleased we could do that for them.
“But I am also pleased for the players and for the group of staff, we have worked so hard over the last eight days, and that includes the lads who have not played.
“We named the team very early, which is not always easy for the guys who are not in it, but the way they helped get the team ready was brilliant.
“Tonight was a reward for the hard work everyone has put in over the last eight days. I keep saying it, we have not had a huge amount of time to work with the schedule, no pre-season and the break with Covid.
“But when we have had a chance to work the performances have reflected the work we have put in, but without the character and the courage to put that out on the pitch the work would mean nothing.
“So I am proud of the bravery in the way we tried to play, especially after a 4-0 defeat away from home. We limited them to one shot on target, scored two ourselves and could have had a couple more.
“I am proud of everyone who was involved tonight, and I hope everyone enjoyed it.
“We won playing our way, had we not won tonight I would still have been pleased with what we put out there.
“The players have shown they believe, we spoke about intensity and clarity after Sheffield United. I was angry, but we reinforced some things and we were better for it.
“We had the character to fight and compete. We are growing, inconsistency is part of the process with young players, so I am proud of them.”
Swansea’s goals arrived in the 79th and 84th minutes. Piroe netting a 15th goal of the season from Olivier Ntcham’s cross, before Hannes Wolf teed up Christie to smash home the clincher.
And Martin revealed the Swans had identified the Baggies vulnerability to conceding late goals as something they could capitalise on.
“We spoke about it, we feel the longer the game goes on if we are in it or winning then we have a massive chance because of the work we ask the opposition to do without the ball,” he added.
“We spoke about it before the game and at half-time, I think their record late in games has not been very good and we spoke about the need to be patient but show more positivity and belief in the final third.
“We did that, and fortunately the guys put it into practice and it worked.”