Russell Martin | We let the supporters down, to lose like that is unacceptable

9th August 2022
First team
Russell Martin Oxford

Russell Martin described the manner of Swansea City’s Carabao Cup exit at Oxford as unacceptable, and felt they had let down the supporters who had travelled to cheer them on at the Kassam Stadium.

The Swans had looked to be cruising into the second round of the competition when goals from Jay Fulton and Liam Cullen gave them a two-goal lead inside the opening half-hour.

The visitors failed to capitalise on numerous opportunities to put the tie beyond reach, but remained in control before Alex Gorrin charged down a clearance and saw the ball fly into the Swansea net with 19 minutes to go.

From that point on the visitors’ grasp on the game evaporated and Cameron Brannagan’s deflected stoppage-time free-kick sent the tie to penalties.

Matty Sorinola would be denied by a combination of keeper and crossbar for the decisive penalty miss as Oxford advanced 5-3 from the shootout.

And head coach Martin pulled no punches as he outlined his anger at how his side had let a position of such dominance slip through their grasp.

“We should never have got ourselves in that position, it simply should not have happened,” he said.

“You look at the number of chances we had and the control we had for 60 or 65 minutes and there is no way we should lose that.

“We made changes after an hour, three of the four were planned, and we did have a lot of young players on the field, but we still had enough on the field to be able to see that game out.

“That final 20 minutes we lost control of the game, and every chance they had was given to them by us.

“Their first goal was pathetic, I do not know when we ever play a pass back to the keeper over that sort of distance and put him under pressure.

“But, even then, we just have to see the game out. It did not need to turn into that. We put each other under pressure with passes, we did not look out for each other, and we did not look after each other with our detail and our mentality.

“Our game management was nowhere near good enough, so I am really angry about it.

“For 65 minutes we had control, we were playing well, the fans who had made the journey here tonight were enjoying it and we were enjoying watching it on the bench.

“For it to turn like that just should not happen.

“It is unacceptable for it to end up like that and I am so frustrated for the supporters, who were brilliant.

“I am furious, to be honest, and the players should feel really hurt and angry because they have let down the supporters that travelled and they have let each other down and we are angry about it.”