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Luke Williams wants Swansea to use performance in win over Stoke as benchmark

10 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Swansea City manager Luke Williams. Bradley Collyer/PA Wire

Luke Williams urged his Swansea players to show the same intensity and aggression they displayed in their 3-0 win over Stoke across their final four games of the Championship season.

The Swans were largely dominant against the Potters and went ahead through Liam Cullen’s seventh goal of the campaign on 19 minutes.

Matt Grimes bagged Swansea’s second from the penalty spot in the 53rd minute after Luke McNally tripped Ollie Cooper.

Josh Key completed a fine win for the hosts in south Wales by rifling into the roof of the net after slick play from Jamal Lowe on the left wing in the 73rd minute.

And Williams has called on his players to end what has been a frustrating campaign in style by replicating their efforts from their emphatic win over Steven Schumacher’s men.

“When we sit and review the (previous three) games, without the emotion on the day, we’re controlling the game in the last three games we played,” explained Williams.

“We get there and we fizzle out a little bit. We gave not too much to the opposition but then something was missing.

“We’re getting there and not quite scoring, we’re keeping the opposition out and they get a chance and score from nothing, so there was something missing.

“But tonight we put the intensity and aggression, all of that lovely stuff, we put back in and got a really great result.

“We have to finish off now, the bare minimum, we have to play with that type of intensity and connection. I want us to continue like that.”

Victory lifted Swansea seven points clear of the relegation zone while Stoke remain only three points above the bottom three.

And Schumacher conceded that his side – whose three-game unbeaten run came to an end in south Wales – were second best against Swansea.

“I felt we got beat by the better team on the night, Swansea in all departments were better than us,” he said.

“They won all of the battles, the 50:50s and they also passed the ball better and were brighter from set-piece moments.

“It was a poor performance from us and it’s one that we weren’t expecting because we’ve been playing really well.

“We just fell a bit low tonight and we got punished.

“That’s the Championship for you, if you’re not at it 100 per cent you can get turned over.”

The Stoke boss was left unimpressed with referee Keith Stroud’s decision to rule out Niall Ennis’ first-half goal and the referee’s call to award Swansea a spot-kick.

“There’s also a few key decisions that’s gone against us,” added Schumacher.

“In any game in the Championship you need those big decisions to go for you, tonight unfortunately they didn’t go our way.

“I won’t use that as an excuse because the overall performance wasn’t good enough and they (Swansea) were better anyway.”

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