UNSELFISH OLI IS ON THE UP, SAYS POTTER
SWANSEA boss Graham Potter says Oli McBurnie will keep on improving after responding to his critics with a pair of goals to seal victory over Reading.
The Scotland striker’s eightgame goal drought finally came to an end from the spot to give his side a first-half lead.
“Oli’s an unselfish guy who isn’t bothered as long as the team win,” said Potter. “He’s had a good week during a period where he’s probably learned a bit. He’ll be a better player and person for it.
“He’s a young guy who’s finding his way in his career and in the world and he needs some help so it was just to make him aware of that.
“It’s nice for the supporters that we’re starting to feel comfortable and confident at home, we’ve had to work at that.”
Daniel James sent Reading a early warning sign after five minutes when he cut inside from his left flank and sent a curling effort inches wide of the far upright.
But Paul Clements’ men responded by carving out a pair of chances to stamp their mark on the game. Yakou Meite muscled past Mike van der Hoorn to force Kristoffer Nordfeldt into a low save before Liam Kelly almost finished a training ground corner routine with a goal, but his shot flew just wide.
McBurnie was causing problems for the Reading defence without really threatening to break his 56-day goal drought.
He miscued a header and failed to make the most of a goalmouth scramble, but he did play an integral role in the Swans’ best chance to break the deadlock. He controlled the ball in the box and laid it off to Jay Fulton, who gave James a clear sight at goal, but the youngster failed to find the top corner.
James returned the favour after 36 minutes when he tricked his way past Andy Yiadom and into the Reading area. In a desperate attempt to recover, the Royals’ full-back scythed down the 20-year-old to give McBurnie the opportunity to score from the spot.
Despite missing his only other penalty of the season, he stepped up and fired the ball straight down the middle.
Reading came out firing in the second half and almost levelled when Leandro Bacuna’s corner was met by Meite, who failed to steer it on target.
The Frenchman had scored three times in his last two games but continued to misfire in front of goal. Sam Baldock picked him out in space, but he could only head wide.
McBurnie almost guaranteed the three points when he received Martin Olsson’s low cross, but Reading keeper Anssi Jaakkola closed down the space to block it behind for a corner.
Baldock scuffed Reading’s final chance to equalise and was made to pay when McBurnie latched on to James’ cross to double the lead. Reading find themselves battling in the bottom three with 12 points, and manager Clement is desperate to find some consistency.
He said: “We’ve been on the wrong side of some really fine margins. There hasn’t been any one game where we’ve been totally tonked.
“There are some confidence issues. How do we do it [turn it around]? We’ve got to keep going [and] working hard.”
ALL-SMILES: Oli McBurnie celebrates giving Swansea the lead
ICE-COOL: McBurnie scores from the spot