Swansea City boss Graham Potter held his hands up and took the blame for his side’s first-half performance at home against Wigan Athletic.
His decision to adopt a back three held his side back in the 2-2 draw and they had to play catch-up.
It looked as if the players weren’t sure of their roles and they lacked shape as well as an understanding as to how to move forward in possession.
In fairness to Wigan, a side without a goal in the last four, played a high line and press and this stopped us from playing out from the back.
But the real problem for the Swans was Potter’s ineffective system. Disjointed to say the least, they found themselves 2-0 down after just 34 minutes and many in the Liberty Stadium why Potter didn’t ditch his back three within the first 15 or 20 minutes.
Without a natural full back on the pitch, switching to a back four was difficult for Potter and changes at the restart were a must. The two youngsters – Cian Harries and Courtney Baker-Richardson – given rare starts after a lengthy spell away from the senior side were taken off at the break in favour of Jefferson Montero and Kyle Naughton.
Potter’s first-team selection and it’s unsurprisingly first-half performance led to more supporters showing their frustration and doubts over the Swansea City manager. Doubts that I feel are premature to say the least – more so because surely a mid-table finish this season is probably the best we could have expected back in the Summer?
Explaining his tactical plan, Potter said after the game that he wanted to attack the wings as he believed Wigan would look to “block the centre of the pitch”:
“I did consider it [making changes before half-time], because the game was going away from us a little bit,”
“We wanted to have width with Wayne (Routledge) and Dan (James) as we thought Wigan would block the centre of the pitch.
“We tried to attack the sides and use Courtney’s physicality. We also tried to use Cian’s left foot to get a bit more balance.
“In theory it sounds alright, but the penalty went in and we got a bit stressed and it became hard to manage the game. But that is my responsibility and my fault.
Potter took the blame for the first-half performance and apologised:
“I take full responsibility for the first half, we weren’t able to be ourselves and it was an uncomfortable 45 minutes,”
“We had an idea but clearly it didn’t work, or I wasn’t able to explain the idea well enough.
“I am disappointed with myself and apologise to the players and to the supporters for the first half.