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Mixed feelings for Russell Martin after 3-1 home win vs Coventry

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Swansea City boss Russell Martin was left with some mixed feelings after his side’s 3-1 home win against Coventry City.

Obviously, he was very pleased with another three points but he’s also very much looking for good performances and he felt the second-half display was disappointing after such an excellent opening 45 minutes that saw Paterson and Obafemi put us 2-0 up.

After the 3-1 win, Martin told the press:

“I’m really pleased with the result, I loved the first half performance, but I didn’t really love the second half performance.

“We have a fairly young team who haven’t been in the position of being 3-0 up very often and we didn’t manage the game well enough in the second half.

“People know me well enough by now that I don’t get too emotional about results. I get emotional about performances because performing well and performing consistently will get you the results in the end.

It was pleasing to hear Martin criticise the second-half performance and the poor game management. It was also pleasing to see us extend our lead early on to 3-0 but it felt that afterwards we quickly fell into cruise mode with an attitude that our work had been done.

Our passing game slipped, mistakes crept in more and more and we started to gift Coventry chances to get back into the game. They did eventually score and deny the Swans their 14th clean sheet of the season after a misplaced pass from Ryan Manning.

Martin also insisted that his side had to do better in the second half as the Swans lost their grip and control on the game.

The first half saw both sides only create 2 shots each on goal but crucially the Swans were very clinical.

In the second, Coventry managed 10 shots with 3 on target compared to Swansea’s 6 shots and 1 on target.

Martin added:

“We have to do better than we did in the second half, so it’s left me feeling less positive about the whole thing than I should do.

“I’m extremely proud of the way we played in the first half. To play the way we play takes huge courage and huge attention to detail. The players looked after each other and the ball in the first half and the intensity to win the ball back was excellent – we limited Coventry to one shot and that was from our mistake.

“The second half was messy but luckily for us, both teams were quite messy.

“I don’t want to be too negative, because they’ve done brilliantly. Back-to-back wins shows the hard work they’re putting in and the character they have.

“In the first half, they showed courage and energy and that’s why we won and it’s why we deserved to win.”

We saw a much-improved display away at West Brom last Monday – improvements that we analyzed in the article below:

Analysis – Tactical changes in 2-0 win at West Brom

Those improvements continued in the first half this afternoon. The Swans were far more direct and “purposeful” with their possession. Russell spoke about how goalkeeper Andy Fisher played longer passes than he’s used to but some of his passes in the first half were excellent. But as did the rest of the team, some of his passes were wayward and sloppy after the break.

“It was a beautiful goal and I thought Korey was great with his part in it,”

“We spoke about being more purposeful and aggressive with the ball and the quality of that goal is outstanding.

“Korey’s a really versatile player and we just felt we needed his presence and experience because we don’t possess huge amounts of that in the team.

“He has a good understanding of the game, and when you have that you can play in any position.

“I’m really pleased for him, I thought he was really good today.”

Swansea’s extra purpose and urgency to get forward in possession was the most pleasing thing to see today though and it’s great to see Russell Martin acknowledge that.  Overplaying it in our own defensive third tends to lead to too many mistakes of which we saw in the final half-hour. We saw long passes from the goalkeeper and good long diagonals and switches of play and with Obafemi’s pace up top that is also another very useful attacking outlet.

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