Swansea City boss Graham Potter was in an upbeat mood despite watching his side defeated for the second time in the space of five days at the Liberty Stadium.
Oli McBurnie put us in front after 11 minutes as he pounced on Matt Grimes’ parried effort but the lead lasted just 2 minutes as West Brom headed home from a corner. Another corner saw the Baggies go into the lead just before half-time and the Swans struggled to find a way through as the visitors were happy to sit back in a solid and compact shape.
Despite another defeat at home against a top-six side, Potter felt there were plenty of positives to focus on the performance as they look ahead to yet another tough game this weekend at Derby County.
“The first half was as well as we have played against a good team who are really dangerous on the transition.
“They have scored a lot of goals that way and we did well there.
“It’s hard to be really pleased after a loss, but I think there’s a lot to go forward with.
“We now have to focus on regrouping, putting the disappointment behind us and trying to go to Derby (on Saturday) in a positive frame of mind.”
I must admit that after today’s game I thought that Potter got it badly wrong. I’ve defended him in the past for making changes – both to personnel and formations but I struggled to work out exactly what he was trying to do tonight with his starting eleven, formation and later his second-half substitutions.
Judging from Twitter as well, it seems like I’m not the only one either.
Potter has done so much good for us but at moment is getting lots wrong from a selection and tactical perspective. Hoping he learns fast as he is the right man overall
— Ian Roberts (@ianroberts52) November 28, 2018
A complete mess. Players looked lost.
— Jason Atkinson (@JasonAtkinson19) November 28, 2018
Potter had no clue tonight, seems like he just told the players to go out and have fun, no game plan or anything
— Ashley (@Ashley_SCFC) November 28, 2018
Obviously, Potter couldn’t ignore the poor set-piece defending that ultimately cost us tonight but he thought that the formation switch went well:
“I thought that went really well,”
“The way they set up their attacking three challenges a conventional set-up.
“If you watch their game against Leeds, they destroyed a good team because of what they do in the transition.
“I can’t remember any chances for them and we got Dan through. We played through them with courage.
“But of course we didn’t do well enough in the key area and that’s the two goals.
“We didn’t defend the set-pieces well enough against a team who are strong on them, and it’s disappointing because it has cost us dearly.”
From a defensive point of view, I’d have to agree – the back three did limit West Brom to few half-chances from open play but our defending at the corners for their two goals was awful.
I thought that we looked far too predictable, especially after going 2-1 down and West Brom sat deeper in a compact shape. van der Hoorn was always looking to get long balls over to either James or Montero on the left flank and with McBurnie constantly dropping into midfield, we didn’t really have any attacking presence through the middle once again.
And yet again, our captain Leroy Fer was taken off for Montero while Roberts made way for McKay who did very little down the right to try and help us get back into the game.
With Roberts off and Carter-Vickers playing some sort of right centre-back/right-back role, McKay – in his defence – had little support beyond him meaning West Brom could afford to overload their right side and double mark Jefferson Montero.
Also, with Fer going off, it meant we had one midfielder in the centre (Grimes) and therefore McBurnie had to keep on dropping in to avoid us becoming completely outmarked in the middle.
Dan James missed our best opportunity of the night in the first-half when Celina sent him through on goal but his tame effort was easily picked up by the goalkeeper. Other than that, we didn’t create too many good chances as our lack of movement made it easy for West Brom to contain us.