Russell Martin | We showed tremendous resilience and character
Russell Martin praised the resilience and character of his Swansea City side as they battled to a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers.
Michael Obafemi scored the only goal of the game for the Swans in the 16th minute, but the hosts had to play the final 37 minutes plus stoppage time a man down after Ryan Manning saw red following a second yellow card.
But head coach Martin saw his side dig in and battle their way to three points, showing the substance to go with the style with which they want to play.
And the Swans boss was a happy man as they beat a Rovers side that had lost just one of their previous 13 games and who sit in the automatic promotion berths.
“I am proud of the players. We are delighted with the win obviously, although I don’t know if I could do with having that little of the ball every week as we did in that last half hour,” said Martin.
“But I could not be more proud of the character and the resilience they showed, the way they dug in.
“I liked how we played in the first half, I did not think we started too well but once we got to grips with it, we were good and in control.
“They offered a threat at set-pieces and were direct and aggressive, they are very good at what they do.
“When we played through the press we looked really strong, but we did not start the second half anywhere near well enough.
“We went a man down but they found energy and dug in, we have spoken about digging in and there’s a big mention for the guys who came on, for Ryan Bennett, Korey Smith and Joel Latibeaudiere.
“They’ve been watching the game, supporting their team-mates at half-time and then they come on and help us finish the game incredibly well.”
Martin also thanked the home supporters for roaring his side on as Blackburn pushed for a late equaliser, and the reception they gave Jamie Paterson as he returned to the side.
"I have to thank the fans too because the way they were, and the way they welcomed Pato back helped everyone as well," he added.
"They helped the team singing his song early in the first half, and then the place was bouncing that last half hour and they played a massive part is us getting the win and a clean sheet."