Swansea City Arsenal Under-21s Gary Richards Adam King
14th April 2016
Gary Richards expressed his delight as Swansea City Under-21s beat title-chasing Arsenal 3-1 in Premier League Division Two at Landore on Thursday.
The London club were gunning for silverware as they lined up with three first-team players in their starting line-up including England midfielder Jack Wilshere, Czech international Tomas Rosicky and German forward Serge Gnabry,.
Despite some early chances for the visitors, it was the young Swans who broke the deadlock through midfielder Adam King before Kenji Gorre doubled the lead before half-time.
The impressive Gnabry pulled a goal back in the second half before substitute Alex Bray put the result beyond doubt a minute later to certify the U21s' play-off place.
"We are delighted with the performance and the result," said Richards. "Today's win is our performance best of the season against a very good side. We always looked a threat on the counter attack - our goals were very good.
"From our organisation to the way we approached the game, we could not have asked for anything more from our players today.
"It is a great experience for the lads to play against experienced Premier League players like Gnabry, Rosicky and Wilshere.
"It was always our objective to make the play-off this season. It was something we were always aiming towards and to secure it is a great achievement. The players have to take credit for that - they have not let us down."
The win sees the U21s stretch their unbeaten run to six games - their fourth victory in a row.
And Richards challenged the development squad to continue their unbeaten run in their final league game against Fulham on Monday.
"It is a great time to have done so well and hit momentum," added Richards. "We have improved massively since the beginning of the season. We need to ensure that continues into the play-offs.
"We don't want our winning momentum to drop against Fulham on Monday. We want to do well in that game and make sure we continue our unbeaten run."