Toshack: U23s delivered under pressure

26th February

Cameron Toshack believes Swansea City Under-23s’ character helped them deliver under pressure as they progressed to the last 16 of the Premier League Cup with a 1-0 win against Burnley.

Kenji Gorre’s first-half strike proved the difference in the freezing and, at times, snowy conditions at Tameside Stadium.

Jordan Garrick also tested Conor Mitchell in the Clarets’ goal before Ntumba Massanka’s late shot hit the post to deny Burnley a draw that would have ended Swansea’s title defence.

“I am really pleased with the way our players conducted themselves,” Toshack said.

“We played more of the football in the first half and dug in well in the second to defend our lead and see out the game for a vital victory.

“We challenged our players to deliver a result in a high-pressure situation. We knew we needed to win and that pressure did not faze them, and they deserve credit for that.

“That was one of the most challenging environments we have ever played in. It was a hard surface but myself and Gary (Richards) are impressed with how we passed the ball on a very difficult pitch.

“The team showed character and I feel have grown as individuals with a result like this."

Victory means the Swans will be in the hat for the knockout stage of a competition which they won after beating Reading in the final at the Liberty Stadium last season.

And Toshack feels the cup run will give the young Swans the chance to learn from a different style of football.

“We were keen to make sure we did ourselves justice,” he continued. “It gives us another opportunity to play knockout cup football.

“That will offer us a different kind of challenge to learn from.

“We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves. It is great we still have a chance to defend the cup, but we want to use this tournament as an opportunity to develop our younger players to a higher level.”