Swansea City showed exactly why they’ve fallen short of the play-offs this season, throwing away a 2-0 lead at home against Hull City, settling for a point against the Tigers.
The visitors frustrated the Swans in the first half, sitting deep with a back five and looking to use Grosicki and Bowen on the counter-attack.
Potter said afterwards that it was difficult to play against Hull’s setup:
“We are frustrated and disappointed,”
“It was difficult with how Hull came and set up. They were very hard to break down.
“We scored a really, really good first goal and then to get the second from a good bit of open play meant we felt comfortable.
However, we made a breakthrough with 8 minutes of the first 45 to play as we finally found a way to get in behind a stubborn Hull defence. Wayne Routledge sent in a low cross from the right and Oli McBurnie was given the simple task of finding the net from close range.
After a quiet first half against his former club, Dan James showed his quality down the left, getting to the by-line and lifting a cross up, Montero-esque, for Oli McBurnie to nod home for 2-0 midway through the second.
From here and with around 70% possession, it should have been plain-sailing to see the game out. Jay Fulton had already come on in an attempt to get a better grip of the game in the middle but yet again we shot ourselves in the foot, conceding soft goals.
A cross from the right was flicked on and the Swans failed to clear their lines inside the box. The ball was headed goalwards and the Swans allowed Bowen to run in behind to stretch and touch the ball beyond Nordfeldt. There were questions again about the goalkeeper who stayed on his line rather than rushing out to close the angle on the goalscorer.
With 13 minutes to play, it was enough for Hull to get an equaliser, doing so with 6 minutes to spare. A long ball forward was won in the air and flicked on, Jon Toral sent a low cross across the six-yard area and fellow substitute Dicko could touch the ball in at the far post from three yards.
Potter was honest in his assessment in that we’re just not good enough or ready to be involved in the play-offs. Games like this perfectly summed up why we’re in mid-table. We just throw away too many points or lose games by conceding soft goals. We saw it at Nottingham Forest, the 4-0 defeat at QPR and failed to beat 10-men Birmingham City. Not to mention our awful away form.
“These results, while disappointing, are part of the process to get better.
“The reality of it, if we are being fair, is we probably were not ready to be part of that top six.
“We have not been good enough to be in that top six for much of the season, so it is for us to say we have not been good enough this year.
We’ve looked like a top 6 side in attack this season but it’s a different story at the back. At times our defending looks like that of a side fighting against relegation and that needs a big improvement next season if we want to compete and improve.