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The Wide Choice For Man of the Match vs Preston Says It All About The Team Unity That Potter Is Developing Here

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Saturday saw the Swans pick up their second win in as many games as they held on defiantly for a narrow 1-0 victory against a Preston North End side that just missed out on the play-off places last season.

Manager Graham Potter admitted – like he did last weekend at Sheffield United – that his side’s performance wasn’t perfect – but they showed a different to their side, and in particular good character again to hold on for the win as the visitors piled on the pressure in the second half.

What summed it up for me though as the amount of players that you could pick from for the man of the match award. You could easily pick from four or five and that was unheard of last season. There were some games last season – quite a few actually – where I didn’t think there was even much point in creating a man of the match poll. One game in particular – Liverpool away when we lost 5-0 – had “Nobody” as an option, and of course that won by a huge majority!

Our squad might not be as strong on paper as we’d all like it to be, but one thing that counts for a lot is squad unity and morale – and that’s currently showing in abundance right now. Whilst we might not have liked seeing Federico Fernandez and Lucasz Fabianski leave this Summer to name just a couple, it was always going to happen. The main frustration however has been the total lack of replacements.

Graham Potter was apparently on board with the decisions to allow the sales of a number of top earners as he has always stressed how he only wants players here who want to be here. His reasoning for that is already showing. We might be weak in certain positions – there’s absolutely no doubt about that, but team unity, the togetherness within the players, morale and their commitment to the cause counts for a lot. A team greater than the sum of its parts most definitely.

Focusing on the positives from the win, we saw Erwin Mulder produce an excellent performance in place of the injured Kristoffer Nordfeldt. 20-year-old Joe Rodon made his debut in place of Fernandez too so at least we’re seeing our backup players coming through and proving they’re good enough to step up when needed. There’s two strong contenders there for man of the match. You also have Mike van der Hoorn who produced another superb display alongside Rodon. Jay Fulton capped off a good game with the all-important winning goal so there were good performances throughout.

We can’t forget that it’s a long season, however. The sheer amount of games in this League will take it’s toll eventually and we’ll need to add another 2-3 players in the loan window to add some much-needed strength in depth, but so far Graham Potter has got this team playing together as one again and long may it continue.

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