Russell Martin | We should have been able to see the game out

4th February 2023
First team
Russell Martin Birmingham City

Swansea City head coach Russell Martin could not hide his disappointment after seeing his side lose out on victory as Birmingham scored twice in the final stages at the Stadium.

Scott Hogan had given the visitors the lead against the run of play from the penalty spot, but Joel Piroe steered in an equaliser and Liam Cullen finished a smart move to give Martin’s side the half-time lead.

Tahith Chong got the Blues back on level terms early in the second half, but a blunder from John Ruddy allowed Piroe to net his 12th goal of the season.

But - down to 10 men owing to an injury to Joel Latibeaudiere shortly after using their third and final allocated substitution slot - the home side could not hold out as striker Lukas Jutkiewicz stooped to steer in a header before Auston Trusty found the net from a set-piece.

It was cruel on the Swans who had been so close to the result Martin, his players, staff and supporters had wanted at the end of a week which had seen the January transfer window close with no additions to a young squad.

The Swans boss had vowed he and his players would give everything to try and achieve success over the remainder of the season, in spite of the disappointment and the frustration felt given the amount of work and effort done by the club’s recruitment team.

And there was no disputing the effort of those in white or their backing from the stands, but the three points were snatched away at the last

It's been a really long and tough 72 hours, I've not had much sleep with everything that's gone on,” said the Swans boss.

"We should be 3-0 up after 20 minutes. The penalty's given, it's not a penalty, it's a really poor decision as Andy Fisher doesn't touch him.

"We reacted brilliantly to that. The performance was so good in the first half. We should be out of sight and we pay for that lack of a clinical edge.

"Birmingham made some changes and it helped them, so we changed formation to alleviate that. Lats has to come off and we have no sub breaks left, that's my fault.

“We didn't envisage that happening and we made subs to try and help the team. They brought on a big threat so we put Harry (Darling) on to have three big guys there.

"So that's my fault. When you're down to 10 men, it's difficult. We should be able to see it out, but we don't unfortunately.

“We’ve been here too many times. We can’t concede four goals with the way we have played.

“It’s the story of our season really. It encapsulates our season in one game.

“The performance was so good for 60 minutes. I’m a bit lost for words really.”

Martin also confirmed Latibeaudiere suffered a calf strain that is likely to keep him out of the upcoming trip to Sheffield United.

Russell Martin Birmingham City