Russell Martin: Swansea disappointment at play-off miss a sign of progress
Russell Martin expressed pride in his Swansea players after their late push for the Sky Bet Championship play-offs ended with a 1-1 draw at Hull.
The Swans have been the in-form team in the league, but sit five points adrift of the top six with one game remaining after their four-match winning run came to an end.
Luke Cundle’s fine finish after 39 minutes cancelled out Ben Cabango’s early own goal, but a draw was not enough.
Martin said: “The players are genuinely disappointed that the chance has gone.
“That shows how far we have come and now it’s important to finish the season really strongly.
“If we win next week we’ll finish in a really respectable position in the league that far exceeds the financial position we have currently.
“I’m incredibly proud of the players – as people and human beings they are amazing.
“They’ve grown so much this season in terms of their connection of what we do. They understand their roles and have each other’s backs.
“We’re probably two or three missing pieces from really competing.
“Hopefully we can now get a bit of (financial) help in terms of taking us to the next level.”
Swansea have secured 20 points from a possible 24 from their last eight games, but they had it all to do when Cabango chested Harry Vaughan’s cross into his own net after three minutes.
The visitors were patient following that early setback and deserved their equaliser on the back of an eye-catching spell of possession-based football.
Martin said: “I thought it was two really good teams playing in a really good style.
“It was really high quality, but they had one shot on target and we conceded.
“We were relentless with the ball, but we just didn’t create enough.
“I really liked the performance after the first 20 minutes and the goal we scored was a really brilliant goal.
“I thought in the second half we were so dominant but we just didn’t have enough spark and zip.
“The only disappointment I have is that we didn’t win the game and we probably lacked a bit of energy early on.”
Hull boss Liam Rosenior believes his side’s display bodes well for next season.
He said: “The game was an outstanding performance from both teams. We both look really good at this level.
“I think we more than matched them and created the outstanding chances.
“They dominated the ball, but I expected that and I was so proud of the players as they never stopped running and trying.
“We are building as a team. I was delighted with the goal – it was an unbelievable team goal.
“There were a lot of real positives that we can build on next season.
“There’s a positive feel around the club and I’m delighted to be part of it.
“I love this club so for me to be part of this journey is something unbelievable and gives me so much motivation.”
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