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Russell Martin unhappy despite stirring Swansea fightback at Coventry

17 Dec 2022 4 minute read
Swansea City’s Liam Cullen (second right) celebrates scoring their third goal during the draw at Coventry. Photo Nigel French PA Images

Russell Martin had some harsh words for his Swansea side despite seeing them come from three goals down to salvage a 3-3 draw against Coventry at the CBS Arena.

Jonathan Panzo, Jamie Allen and Viktor Gyokeres had put the Sky Blues in the driving seat before a 16-minute turnaround from Joel Piroe, Jay Fulton and Liam Cullen saw Swansea snatch a point.

“I’m battling how to feel about it really,” said Swansea boss Martin.

“I thought for half an hour we were incredible, brilliant, so I’m really grateful and proud for the last half an hour. But I’m really hurt for the first 60 minutes.

“The energy in the top third of the pitch, the willingness to run, to sacrifice yourself, the reaction to losing the ball, all the stuff we’ve worked on the last couple of weeks was nowhere near acceptable.

“The lack of physical contact, lack of aggression in transition is why they came away with so many counter-attacks and Steven (Benda) came to the rescue.

“To then concede from a set-piece is, being honest, a disgrace. We’ve gone behind in too many games in the last seven and in a lot of those games conceded a set-piece.

“Today we end up with 17 shots each, it’s far too many. That’s mentality, they have all the detail in the world and the guy gets a free header and scores. That’s unacceptable.

“I saw some stuff in the first half I did not like one bit. Passes that they know how I feel about them, it’s not helping your team-mate, not hurting the opposition. I don’t know where it came from.”

Coventry had gone ahead when Panzo rose highest from a corner to head in his first goal in English football, before Allen curled home brilliantly two minutes after half-time.


Gyokeres looked to have put the hosts out of sight after 54 minutes, but Piroe sparked the comeback when he turned in Ryan Manning’s cross before Jay Fulton slammed home a rebound after a good save from Ben Wilson.

Substitute Cullen, who had been on for less than two minutes, then tapped in the equaliser for the visitors after Piroe’s header had come back off the inside of the post.

“We were really good for 68 minutes,” said Coventry boss Mark Robins. “We were 3-0 up and the game’s won.

“When you run your legs out you start to get a little bit tired and then it’s a case of ‘do you make changes to score more goals or do you try to shut up shop?’ But to shut up shop against them is difficult.

“We were 3-0 up and we started to go, ‘well this is easy’, and started to do things that were totally against what we normally do. It was a bit of naivety. There is some naivety in there because you have got three young players in the back line plus (Michael) Rosey and Jake Bidwell.

“To be 3-0 against them is outstanding but then to concede the three goals is like a real kick in the teeth. We kept throwing the ball out and trying to do things quickly as if we needed to score another one, and ultimately we just showed some naivety in terms of what we were doing.

“The game is cruel at times but you have got to keep possession of the ball and we didn’t do that. We went backwards, gave the ball away and turned it over too often.

“But there’s no getting away from it, we conceded three goals after the game should have been killed off. So it’s disappointing and there’s a lot of learning to come from it. But there’s a lot of young players and we were naive.”

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