Swansea boss blames slow start at Bristol on players over celebrating last week’s Welsh derby win
Bristol City paid the price for not taking their chances as Swansea snatched a share of the spoils at Ashton Gate.
Tommy Conway fired the hosts in front in the midday kick-off with his eighth goal of the season on 24 minutes, a low drive from Nahki Wells’ perfectly paced pass.
But other chances went begging and the Swans levelled on 76 minutes, substitute Olivier Ntcham firing home with a deflected volley from 20 yards when a corner was cleared into his path.
Swansea boss Russell Martin felt his side’s slow start to the match was down to over celebrating last weekend’s 2-0 derby victory over Cardiff City.
“I was very disappointed with the first 20 minutes and I think the emotion of last Sunday took its toll,” he said. “I saw some pictures of some of the players celebrating on social media, which I didn’t like much.
“They are young lads and I want them to enjoy what they do and being with each other. I was happy for them to go out for a drink after the game, but it’s all about getting the balance right.
“Perhaps in future they will cut the celebrations a bit shorter. But they are human beings and maybe the way we started today will be a lesson learned.
“We weren’t intense enough early in the game and didn’t use the ball well enough. But that is something we will learn from.
“Steven Benda has made two big saves and I am sure Nigel Pearson will say his side could have been out of sight. But in the end, the players are disappointed we didn’t win, which shows the character and resilience they showed.
“Last season we would have lost this game. Olivier’s goal was reward for the work has been doing in training and all you can ask of a substitute is that he makes a impact, which all of them did today.”
Nigel Pearson was justly proud of his illness-hit Bristol City side after they had the better of a 1-1 Championship draw with high-flying Swansea.
Pearson was without four centre-backs, including Rob Atkinson, who pulled out shortly before the game with the bug that had affected several other players during the week.
“We have had numerous players under medication to try to control what has been an outbreak of flu in the camp,” said Pearson.
“Cameron Pring didn’t know he was playing until Rob pulled out and did really well, as did the back-line in general.
“We restricted a very good Swansea side to few chances, but we have to be more clinical in taking the ones we create if we are to transform performances into victories.
“That was what stopped us winning today. When defenders make mistakes, they get criticised and today the forwards have to take responsibility.
“We did well in a lot of areas, but we should have scored more goals and been further ahead by half time.
“Overall, we can be pleased with how we defended and the way we played. There is a feeling of disappointment in the dressing room over the result.
“The flu is still with us and Alex Scott played, despite feeling under the weather last night.
“We will take a head count of fit players tomorrow. At the moment, I have no idea who will be available for Tuesday’s game against Sheffield United.”
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