UN­SELFISH OLI IS ON THE UP, SAYS POT­TER

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Steve Price

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.”

PIC­TURE: PSI/Gra­ham Hunt

ALL-SMILES: Oli McBurnie cel­e­brates giv­ing Swansea the lead

ICE-COOL: McBurnie scores from the spot

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.