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Joel Piroe earns Russell Martin praise after Swansea winner at Bristol City

Bristol City v Swansea City – Sky Bet Championship – Ashton Gate
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Swansea boss Russell Martin praised the speed with which Joel Piroe has adapted to the English game after the striker’s match-winning contribution in a 1-0 win at Bristol City.

Piroe, recruited from PSV this summer, settled the outcome on 19 minutes, breaking from midfield to score at the second attempt after his first effort came back off a post.

It was enough to give Martin his first three-point haul since becoming Swans boss and inflict a club record 12 home games without a win for Bristol, nine of them since Nigel Pearson took charge.

Of Piroe’s contribution, Martin said: “I had a chat with Joel after his first week with us because he wasn’t used to the intensity we were asking of him.

“Since then he has worked really hard to earn his opportunity and took it brilliantly with a great goal.

“He is good technically and an excellent athlete, so I am sure there is a lot more to come from him.

“It was probably the worst we have played this season, but the three points mattered more.

“We will learn and improve from this game. Our decision making wasn’t as it should be at times.

“But we stuck together and there were not many moments of danger in the second half.”

Martin also expressed his hope that influential midfielder Matt Grimes will still be a Swans player when the transfer window ends.

Grimes gave another eye-catching display before appearing to tire in the closing stages.

“I’ll be a happy man if Matty is still with us when the window closes,” said Martin. “He is a fantastic player.

“There is always speculation at this time in the season, but there have been no offers.

“He and his partner are happy in the area and as things stand he is our player.”

An even first half ended with a spell of Bristol pressure. They also began the second period on the front foot, Andreas Weimann firing over.

Bristol gave everything to break their home jinx but have not won at Ashton Gate since January.

Pearson said: “It was a very disappointing night because the players applied themselves as I want and deserved something.

“We didn’t take our chances but had several efforts on target. Their goal was preventable because when you make one mistake you can’t afford to compound it with another.

“Of course, the home form is a concern and we want to do better in front of our own fans.

“But the two performances here this season have been good, even though they only yielded one point, and I am not as nervous as I was about how we will play.

“Last season I didn’t know what to expect from my players, Now I have total faith in them. They are an honest group, who are working very hard, and I am sure we will be okay.

“We can only improve the squad by spending big money and that is not an option open to us at the moment.

“I am not saying there won’t be business done in and out before the transfer window ends, but we are not in a position pay out big fees.

“If we keep applying ourselves like that, results will come. Tonight was hugely frustrating, but there were plenty of positives.”