Russell Martin relieved after Swansea held off 10-man Blackpool
Swansea head coach Russell Martin admitted he was relieved after his side avoided a slip-up against 10-man bottom club Blackpool.
A man down for over half an hour after the dismissal of Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino, the Tangerines cancelled out Matty Sorinola’s opener through a Sonny Carey goal in the 70th minute.
But Sorinola’s cross was turned into his own goal by Blackpool defender Callum Connolly three minutes later to give the Swans their first win in four league games.
Blackpool remain bottom of the table and without a win in 14 league matches, sitting four points from safety.
“Tonight, it is probably a bit of relief,” said Martin after Blackpool piled on heavy late pressure and hit the post through Carey.
“I’m really proud of the players. We have the youngest team in the Championship, but we should have been out of sight again by half-time, we were so dominant and we created loads.
“I’m really frustrated as we took our foot off the gas and the crowd sensed it. We don’t have the instinct to really kill it.
“Just before half-time they had two openings on the counter attack and Fish (Andy Fisher) made comfortable saves, but they were shots on target which are avoidable. That created a bit of anxiety in the crowd and in our players and it gave them (Blackpool) hope and energy.
“They hit the post late on, it made everyone feel more anxious, so it probably became more difficult than it should have been, but I understand it.”
Swansea led after Ryan Manning’s cross from the left eventually found wing-back Sorinola and he swivelled neatly to fire a low volley past Maxwell.
Patino was dismissed for a second yellow card after a foul on Sorinola but Carey levelled things up for Blackpool in the 70th minute.
But Blackpool’s joy was short-lived as within two minutes the Swans eased back in front through an own goal by Connolly.
Sorinola’s cross was awkward, but Connolly made a hash of his clearance to send the ball into his own net.
Swansea move up to 12th – five points adrift of the play-offs – but they were clinging on at the end.
Blackpool manager Mick McCarthy said: “It was a difficult first half and we found it hard to cope with them.
“They deserved their lead, but in the second half the lads were great.
“We have had another sending off, but I’m not going to be too harsh on Charlie. He’s a young lad and he was just a bit rash. He was trying to win the ball.
“With 10 men, we have made a really good effort and got one back. Really, we could have got the second as well because we played well.”
Blackpool have not won in the league since October 29 and they have 15 games left to pull themselves clear.
But McCarthy insisted: “The lads all care. We had our chances so I’m disappointed with losing here.
“We are bottom of the league, but there is no point in being miserable about it. We have got to keep looking up.”
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