Swansea boss lauds Joel Piroe as Dutch star seals victory over QPR
Swansea boss Russell Martin hailed keeping striker Joel Piroe as the club’s best piece of transfer window business this summer after the Dutchman fired them to a 1-0 victory over QPR.
Piroe scored his third goal in as many games to secure Swansea’s second Sky Bet Championship win of the season.
The 23-year-old, who scored 24 goals last season, had attracted interest from Premier League clubs, with Leeds and Leicester among those reportedly interested in him before the window closed on Thursday.
Martin said: “We are really lucky to have him. The best bit of business we did was to keep him, for sure.
“He does love it here. He’s genuine when he says that. The relationship he has with the staff and the rest of the squad is excellent.
“He is held in such high esteem, and so long as he keeps working hard he will continue to be fantastic for us.”
Piroe’s winner, a cool side-foot finish from 12 yards, came five minutes after QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng had saved his penalty.
Martin said Piroe was “really annoyed” by his spot-kick failure on a day when Michael Obafemi was missing from the Swansea squad.
Obafemi was the subject of two deadline-day bids from Championship rivals Burnley, and Martin suggested that the Republic of Ireland striker was not in the right frame of mind to play.
He said: “We had a chat after the deadline-day madness and both decided it was best for him to have the weekend off and that he couldn’t contribute in a way that he should have.
“He’ll come back in on Monday, we’ll have a really good chat and we’ll make sure he’s in the right frame of mind to contribute.
“His head has been filled with all sorts of nonsense since we first came back in, so his energy has been a bit different.”
QPR boss Mick Beale criticised his team’s performance, saying they were not brave enough in possession.
But Beale said Swansea were fortunate not to have defender Ben Cabango sent off inside 30 seconds for stopping Chris Willock’s clear run on goal.
He said: “Cabango’s a lucky boy. He’s definitely made a mistake and pulled him back.
“Chris has been honest because, I think, if he falls over he (Cabango) has gone.
“He didn’t and we shouldn’t be asking a player to fall over because we don’t like that in our game.
“I’m not going to be that type of manager that sits here and canes the referee.
“But that’s a tough call and, if it’s at the other end, then Russell is saying the same.”
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