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Russell Martin delighted with Swansea’s late win at Blackpool

Oxford United v Swansea City – Carabao Cup – First Round – Kassam Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Matthews)

Swansea manager Russell Martin praised the aggression and intensity of his players after they snatched their first win of the Sky Bet Championship season with a 1-0 victory at Blackpool.

Michael Obafemi teed up substitute Olivier Ntcham for the simplest of goals in the 87th minute after a two-on-one situation with the keeper.

Martin was particularly pleased with the way his side bounced back from last week’s humbling 3-0 defeat at home to Blackburn.

He said: “There was some criticism last week about being slow, which was right, and I take responsibility for that.

“But I loved the players’ aggression and intensity today – we were so good in the first half I thought.

“We looked really threatening, with players running into the box relentlessly, which we lacked on Saturday.”

The Welsh side dominated possession in the first half – Obafemi shot straight at Dan Grimshaw before Matt Grimes clipped the bar from 25 yards in the first 15 minutes.

Ben Cabango headed a Ryan Manning corner just wide before the break, but they were indebted to goalkeeper Andy Fisher after it when he saved a Jerry Yates spot-kick on 50 minutes.

Martin felt the award of the penalty was soft but praised his keeper’s impact.

He said: “We started the second half really poorly. The penalty, he dives, there’s no contact there, but the minute we go to ground we give him (Kenny Dougall) the chance to do that.

“He’s (Fisher) been really great this season since he came in, he’s been improving every week so that’s a great moment for him.”

Blackpool were arguably the better side during the second half, with chances coming and going throughout.

Winger Josh Bowler had three good chances to make the breakthrough from the right-hand side but a combination of wasteful finishing and Swans keeper Fisher stopped him from doing so.

Seasiders boss Michael Appleton said: “We’re creating opportunities, so yeah, there’s no doubt about that – we’re just not being clinical enough.

“I thought we were outstanding in the second half and we should have been three or four up I would suggest before obviously the killer blow.”

The Tangerines face daunting trips to QPR and Burnley over the next seven days, but Appleton feels they are exciting ones for the club.

He said: “There are ones to look forward to, I’m aware last year we came into this league as being promoted at Wembley, and it took a while to get going.

“You can have spells of about four, five, six games where it doesn’t quite happen, but a result in the next two games will make it a good start for us.”

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