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Michael Duff: Win at Millwall probably best of my Swansea tenure so far

30 Sep 2023 4 minute read
Swansea City manager Michael Duff Robbie Stephenson/PA Wire

Swansea boss Michael Duff hailed his side’s 3-0 Championship win over Millwall as the best of his tenure as they secured a commanding victory at the Den.

Jamal Lowe opened the scoring with a penalty before goals from Matt Grimes and Mykola Kukharevych sealed the triumph, Duff’s third in charge since taking over in June.

The visitors won their second Championship game in a row having taken only two points from a possible 21 from their previous seven matches.

“It’s probably the best result of my Swansea tenure so far,” Duff said. “3-0 away from home at a tough place to come.

“I thought we saw a bit more of what we wanted to look like. It was some really good football. The reaction’s been good ever since the Cardiff game, where we let everyone down.

“We probably should have had three clean sheets and nine points since then. The players have stuck together through all of it.”

Swansea sparked to life in the 23rd minute when Lowe converted a penalty, awarded after Jerry Yates’ shirt was pulled by Jake Cooper in the box.

Lowe produced a stuttering run-up before sending Bartosz Bialkowski the wrong way to end the hosts’ hopes of a third-straight clean sheet and to notch his second goal in as many games.

Duff added: “The first goal was 40-plus passes going into the build-up to the penalty, which I think should have been a red card as well.

“I knew they would have a reaction. We had to change shape a couple of times, but we survived it. You’re not going to dominate a game for 90 minutes, not in the Championship – very rarely anyway.

“It’s still a long, long way from where we want to get it to.”

Swansea City’s Jamal Lowe celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal of the game from the penalty spot during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Den, London. Credit: James Manning/PA Wire

Grimes moved Swansea further ahead after 57 minutes, as some neat interplay offered an inviting opening for the skipper and his 20-yard strike squeezed under Bialkowski.

The Lions were unable to take their chances at 2-0 down with Carl Rushworth turning a long-distance strike from Ryan Leonard over the crossbar before the goalkeeper saved Kevin Nisbet’s point-blank effort with his face.

Kukharevych then made certain of the three points for the Swans with an 80th-minute header for a first away victory since April.

Millwall manager Gary Rowett took a different view of his side’s reaction to conceding, believing they showed frustration rather than fight.

He said: “Goals change moods, goals change feelings in stadiums and players’ confidence levels. It shouldn’t do, but that’s the way the game is.

“Sometimes at 0-0 you have to ride those little moments and the first goal was a really poor penalty to give away from where the ball was.

“We got into some decent positions without having a clinical edge. That was the difference.

“I didn’t like our reaction from 2-0 down. I think we have a habit of conceding goals and showing our frustration rather than fighting until the last second.

“Again we had some big moments, but without that goal it gives you nothing to lift the mood and atmosphere.

“It’s disappointing. The third goal summed it up, we gave it away, crossed it to a lad unmarked to head it in. It was certainly three poor goals from us to concede today.”

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