Time to get points from per­for­mances

South Wales Evening Post - - SWANS - AN­DREW GWILYM @awg­wilym • 01792 545558 an­drew.gwilym@me­di­awales.co.uk

SWANSEA City man­ager Gra­ham Pot­ter wants his side to start turn­ing en­cour­ag­ing per­for­mances into points away from home as they head to Bolton to­day.

The Swans sit ninth in the Cham­pi­onship ta­ble but could eas­ily be higher hav­ing spurned chances to take points from a hand­ful of re­cent games.

Their de­feat at Rother­ham was a case in point, where a dom­i­nant dis­play ended in de­feat as two late penal­ties sunk Pot­ter’s men in South York­shire.

Swansea could also have had more from games at Stoke, Wi­gan and As­ton Villa.

They have two wins from eight away games, the last of those com­ing on the open­ing week­end of Septem­ber with the mem­o­rable 10-man tri­umph at Mill­wall.

Pot­ter, 43, ad­mits his side were ahead of his ex­pec­ta­tions with the man­ner of their dis­play last week­end, point­ing to their rel­a­tive in­ex­pe­ri­ence as in­di­vid­u­als and a col­lec­tive.

But he ac­knowl­edges they need to start en­sur­ing their ef­forts re­sult in them adding to their tally in a fiendishly tight Cham­pi­onship ta­ble as they face a Bolton side with one win in 12 and just two goals to their name in nine games. “I think you have to look at where we are com­ing from,” he said when asked to as­sess Swansea’s away record.

“We have had games away from home where I have come in af­ter­wards and said we were lucky to get away with that one.

“There will be stages where we play well and don’t get any­thing.

“But in terms of the team that started at Rother­ham you can go through it. The goal­keeper has not played a lot, al­though Mike van der Hoorn and Kyle Naughton did.

“Joe Rodon was on loan at Chel­tenham last sea­son and did not play all the time, Matt Grimes was at Northamp­ton in League One. Leroy Fer has not played much, Jay Ful­ton did not get many games at Wi­gan. Dan James was sent back from a loan spell at Shrewsbury, Oli Mcburnie was at Barns­ley. Ber­sant Celina had about 20 games at Ip­swich.

“So that is we are where we are, and it means we have to fo­cus on how we im­prove.

“In that re­spect last week was a big learn­ing point for us. I will be hon­est and say I did not think we could get to that level of per­for­mance at this stage, where we have con­trol of a Cham­pi­onship game and they do not create a sin­gle chance.

“There are things we are mov­ing to­wards so in terms of as­sess­ment of away form we need to im­prove, at least in terms of re­sults.”

But Pot­ter added that the painful man­ner of the de­feat at Rother­ham – while be­ing an ex­pe­ri­ence no-one in Swansea colours wanted to go through – will prove a pointed learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for his side.

“We are in this po­si­tion where we all want to win. The sup­port­ers want to win, the play­ers want to win and I want to win, but to im­prove you have to have some pain much as we don’t like it and it hurts,” he added.

“That’s no dif­fer­ent in life, when you first try to walk or run, you fall down. You get back up and try again un­til you get it right and work things out. You have to learn those lessons.”

Among the other lessons Swansea have had to learn has been the phys­i­cal­ity of a divi­sion where ref­er­ee­ing is of a more le­nient man­ner than what the club had be­come used to in the top flight.

James and Celina came in for par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion at Rother­ham, while the Kosovo in­ter­na­tional was in­jured by a poor tackle against Not­ting­ham For­est.

Pot­ter ad­mits he has had to ad­just him­self af­ter seven years in Swe­den, but in­sists he and his play­ers will sim­ply get on with the task at hand.

“I have come in af­ter be­ing in a dif­fer­ent coun­try for the last seven years and some of the tack­les I have seen in the Cham­pi­onship would be yel­low or red cards in Eu­rope, if I am be­ing hon­est,” he said.

“But that’s what makes Bri­tish foot­ball what it is and makes it unique, and I don’t want to be sat here say­ing a ref­eree’s job is to pro­tect play­ers and their ca­reers.

“You want that com­pet­i­tive­ness, that com­mit­ment and pas­sion.

“But, the safety of the play­ers is very im­por­tant and I think speak­ing to peo­ple who are adapt­ing to how games are ref­er­eed in the Cham­pi­onship af­ter the Pre­mier League there is prob­a­bly a dif­fer­ence. But that is part of what we have to deal with.

“We are not one of those who want to bleat and moan about things, it is what it is and we know where we are at.

“We have to use the ball quicker and be brighter in an­tic­i­pat­ing tack­les and then hope the ref­eree makes sure any chal­lenges are le­gal. Then there are no com­plaints.”

Pic­ture: Chris Fair­weather/huw Evans Agency

The Swans could have taken more from their trip to Wi­gan.

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