Russell Martin heaps praise on supporters as Swansea hold on for victory

Hull City v Swansea City – Sky Bet Championship – MKM Stadium
(Image credit: Ian Hodgson)

Head coach Russell Martin praised the Swansea fans for helping his side to hold on for a 1-0 win against Blackburn, despite playing for 40 minutes with only 10 men.

Michael Obafemi’s 16th-minute header was enough to seal all three points for the Welsh side, who had defender Ryan Manning sent off for a second yellow card eight minutes into the second half.

The win lifts Swansea to 16th in the Championship table, while Blackburn remain second but they are still four points behind leaders Fulham and have now played two games more than the Londoners.

“I’m so proud of the players,” said Martin. “I’m delighted with the win, obviously but I couldn’t have that little of the ball like we did in the last half an hour every week!

“I just feel proud of the players, the way they dug in and the resilience they showed and the character they showed.

“We didn’t start very well but once we got to grips with it, we were good.

“They’re direct and aggressive and they are good at what they do; that’s why they’re up there in the league.

“We didn’t start the second half anywhere near well enough and I think it was just [a lack of] energy really,” he added.

“We’ve got a lot of tired guys feeling it. But they found energy and they dug in – in a different way to what I thought we would have to.”

Martin felt the supporters at the Stadium were crucial, especially after Manning’s red card for a high boot on Darragh Lenihan.

“The fans were fantastic,” he said. “The way they were in the last half an hour was great – the place was bouncing and it was a massive part of in why we were able to hang on and keep a clean sheet. The boys deserved it, they really deserved it.”

Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray argued that the red card was more of a hindrance than a help to his side.

“The game, until the sending off, went as we thought,” he said.

“After the sending off the team found it difficult to break through a deep block. We hadn’t prepared for a deep block; we’d prepared for Swansea who keep the ball and put men in front of the ball and try and play through your lines.

“We were playing against a team that weren’t trying to score a goal and breakaway.

“It was almost like a crossing and finishing session at the end. We were just a bit naïve – young players making poor decisions.

“We’ve got 16 games left and we have to win half of them and if we can then that will undoubtedly cement a play-off place.”

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