Martin hails ‘absolutely brilliant’ Swansea after cruise at Norwich
Swansea manager Russell Martin spoke of his pride as his return to Carrow Road ended with an impressive 3-0 victory over a Norwich side who were reduced to 10 men just before the interval.
The Swans maintained their impressive end-of-season form at the ground where their manager made more than 300 appearances as a player, with goals from Joel Latibeaudiere, Liam Cullen and Olivier Ntcham earning them a thoroughly deserved three points.
Two of those goals came before Sam McCallum was red-carded for a professional foul, with Swansea cruising to a win which took them level on points with their struggling hosts.
Martin said: “This was a beautiful day for everyone connected with Swansea City, myself and my staff, the players and of course our brilliant fan base, who made such a long journey to support us.
“We started off a little bit sloppily but once we showed better care of the ball I thought we were absolutely brilliant.
“Even when it was 11 versus 11 I thought we played really well and I was also pleased with the way we approached the game in the second half against 10 men.
“We didn’t go gung-ho, which can be dangerous against a side like Norwich, we kept our discipline, kept moving the ball as we normally do, and eventually got a third.
“I thought two of our goals were outstanding team efforts and I couldn’t be more proud of the players than I am right now.
“It’s just a shame it looks as though we will probably fall just short, which is down to two poor runs that went on a little too long.
“I love working with this group. We have got strong foundations to build on and with a little bit of help I think we can go on to achieve something in the fullness of time.”
Swansea took the lead after 23 minutes when Latibeaudiere had the freedom of the Norwich penalty area to head home a Ryan Manning corner.
They doubled their advantage six minutes before the break as Cullen headed home at the back post after Manning had picked him out with a superb cross from the byline.
When McCallum was sent off for hauling down Cullen as he bore down on goal it was effectively game over, with Ntcham’s well-taken 64th-minute effort completing a comfortable win.
Following a fourth home game without a goal, Norwich’s play-off ambitions look all-but over, with large sections of the crowd calling for sporting director Stuart Webber to go during and after the match.
Head coach David Wagner leapt to the defence of Webber, who he also worked with at Huddersfield.
He said: “Everyone should know how much Stuart Webber cares about Norwich City Football Club.
“There is no-one who cares more about the club than he does. Obviously not all his decisions are right but show me anyone who never makes a mistake, I would knock on their door to find out the secret.
“Also for things to be successful at a football club everyone involved has to stick together, help each other.
“Only when we all stand together will there be a bright future for this club. We have a hell of a job to do here but let’s stand together and do it.
“I understand the frustration of our fans but I don’t think finger pointing helps.”
As for the game itself, Wagner added: “I have to admit we were second best.
“This group tends to get affected by setbacks and there’s no doubt we are missing a number of leaders because of injury but that’s the way it is.”
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