Russell Martin | We showed so much guts and courage

18th October 2022
First team
Russell Martin Reading home

Head coach Russell Martin praised the guts and courage of his Swansea City side after they bounced back from their weekend defeat at Burnley by coming from two goals down to beat Reading at the Stadium.

The home side fought back after Yakou Meite and Tom Ince had given the Royals the lead in SA1.

Harry Darling headed in his third goal of the season, and Swansea’s fourth set-piece goal in five games, to pull one back before the interval.

Ollie Cooper than stabbed home a loose ball just past the hour mark, before Jay Fulton crashed home the winner from 30 yards out to see the Swans recover from a two-goal deficit to win a game for the first time since a 4-3 win – where they had trailed 3-1 – at Middlesbrough in February 2011.

And Martin could not hide his admiration for how his young side responded from their early setback to get back to winning ways and make it 19 points from the last 27 on offer in the Championship.

“I think we got the result we deserved in the end, I think most people who watched the game would agree with that,” said the Swans boss.

“I thought it was harsh on the players that we were 2-0 down. We had started really well. Reading were difficult to break down, we knew they would be having watched them.

“We know how organised they are, they have some really experienced players and have started the season really well.

"The goals we concede are really poor. The players were really frustrated and annoyed at half-time, they felt they should have had two penalties and from that I think that frustration took over and there was a bit of anxiety, and we made some mistakes.

"We gave them chances we shouldn't have, and they took advantage because they've got good players.

“That was the game really. We had so much of the ball in their half and they looked to spring into counter-attack.

“But the way the players reacted to it was fantastic. They all showed huge character tonight, especially after Saturday.

“To be 2-0 down after the disappointment we had at Burnley, it takes some guts and courage.

“We're really proud of them and grateful to them that they were able to stick at it. The crowd were fantastic in the second-half. They were brilliant, and it was just a brilliant night.

“It's one of the biggest wins we've had since we've been here, I think.

"For them to come through a moment like this after Saturday is massive, when you put it into context with how young that team is.”

Martin also felt the spirit within the squad was exemplified by the way the players who were absent through injury and suspension came into the dressing room to support and then celebrate with their team-mates.

“It was great to see how the guys who were not in the squad were in the dressing room before the game and afterwards, just supporting the guys,” he added.

“Guys like Pato, Joe Allen, Joel Piroe, Ryan Manning, Liam Walsh. The way they were with the lads always means more than the win.

“The way Nathan Wood took the news at half-time that he was coming off, the way he energised the lads before they went out for the second half was great; what a brilliant character.

“The same with Armstrong when he had to come off after being subbed on. He had done his job, he came on, we got the two goals, he was direct and frightened people with his pace. We just needed something different at the end.

 “Those things mean more than anything.”