Ryan Manning | Squad strength shone through in comeback win
Ryan Manning believes Swansea City’s dramatic comeback win at Stoke underlines their squad strength and team spirit.
The Swans ended a 20-year wait for a victory in the Potteries thanks to goals from Connor Roberts and Andre Ayew.
Steve Cooper’s side had fallen behind at the bet365 Stadium when Nick Powell fired home from close range.
But the Swans rallied, and Roberts directed home Manning’s cross to register his fourth goal of the campaign.
Manning, who went close to scoring himself on two occasions, later picked out Roberts with another pinpoint cross, but the Wales international could only make minor contact with his headed effort.
Then, after Kyle Naughton was downed in the box in stoppage time, up stepped Ayew to coolly put the Swans in front and on course for victory.
And Manning, who was one of four changes to the starting XI, was one of the figures to impress on the night as Cooper’s side moved to within a point of second-placed Brentford, with two games in hand.
“Everyone’s contributing – if you’re called in to do a job, you do a job – and it just goes to show how competitive the squad is,” said the Republic of Ireland international, who made his fourth league start of the season since joining the Swans from QPR in October.
“There have been a few games where players have had to step in at the last moment and the team has been changed, but everyone’s performing. It just goes to show how competitive a squad we have and the good team spirit that we have.
“I’ve been waiting a few months to try and get in. That was due to the boys being absolutely on it; we’re right up there in the league, so it goes to show how competitive the squad is.
“I was given an opportunity on Wednesday and hopefully I’ve done myself a favour and impressed the gaffer and I can stay in. First and foremost, the three points are massive and that’s the most important thing.”
Once again it was the Swans’ wing-backs who had a big say in the outcome in Staffordshire, with scorer Roberts and Manning proving a big outlet for the visitors.
Manning took his opportunity as he was given the nod ahead of Jake Bidwell, and the 24-year-old was delighted to have provided an assist for man-of-the-match Roberts.
“Like Connor said the other day after Bidders set him up for a goal, him and Bidders are like Ned Flanders and Homer Simpson, but I think he’ll have to come up with something different for myself and him,” joked Manning.
“It was good to just be involved, contribute and help us improve our position in the table.
“Between everyone in the squad, it’s all about the end goal and trying to finish right up there this season.”