Swansea City kept their third clean sheet of the season today against Nottingham Forest at home but they were lacking attacking quality as the visitors dominated for large spells and will probably be disappointed on the trip home to not get three points.
It was a very poor game to watch. The quality was lacking throughout and it was a scrappy and physical affair in which Karanka’s side looked to bully us and get stuck into our attacking players. Celina was forced off injured at halftime, Fulton also suffered a head injury and had to go off while Oli McBurnie also suffered a knock during the opening 45 minutes but was able to play on.
Potter’s side did create a decent opening in the second half with McKay and Asoro broke forward but we overplayed it and eventually, Asoro’s shot from an acute angle was saved by the goalkeeper.
The cliche “if you can’t play well, don’t lose” is valid here. We didn’t play well at all and struggled again against a physically strong side. Plaudits again go to our two centre-backs for helping us to another clean sheet but you whilst you can take those positives of our defensive display, you can’t forget our obvious problems of finding ways to create chances.
Similar to the game against Bristol City at home, Forest pressed high up the pitch and we were shooting ourselves in the foot at times. Forest had read us like a book, expected the short passes out to the full backs and they were able to steal possession from us in our own half. We were quite stubborn in our approach and reluctant to switch things up despite struggling with the ball in deep positions. Fortunately for us though, Forest lacked the quality too to take full advantage of our weakness with 12 of their 16 shots blocked or off target.
Potter mentioned this in his post-match press conference:
“Forest did well stopping our build-up play – they were aggressive in that,”
“We are not just going to walk through teams. We had some moments, but so did Nottingham Forest.
“We had to deal with some disruption – losing Jay and Bersant at half-time was a body blow for us. We had to adapt again and felt in the second half that our best opportunity was going to be on the counter-attack.”
You can’t deny that the Swans do have attacking talent to create chances. Bersant Celina started off in his preferred number 10 role but Dhanda and John’s poor displays down the left forced Potter to switch things up. On the right flank, McKay couldn’t really do a great deal against his former club and the same goes for McBurnie who was either isolated or out of position again having been asked to move to a left-wing role in the second half.
Potter was balanced in his thoughts of the game, saying he was pleased with the clean sheet but said they didn’t do enough:
“With this game and Millwall, we have had two battling performances where we’ve been up against it and we’ve come away with four points.
“The challenge now is to improve our overall play.”
“People say the Championship is a grind and you don’t always play the way you want to play.
“The great thing for us is that we have seen those periods out and we have another clean sheet.
“You will be up against it in some games. Having the ability to get something when that happens is important.”
“I don’t think we deserved anything more than that. It was a battling performance in which we overcame a bit of adversity.
“We had patches of good play but probably not enough as the home team to be really satisfied.