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Russell Martin refuses to take credit for impact of subs against Barnsley

Barnsley v Swansea City – Sky Bet Championship – Oakwell
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Swansea manager Russell Martin refused to take credit for the impact of substitutes Olivier Ntcham and Ryan Manning during his team’s 2-0 win at Barnsley.

Ntcham broke the deadlock in a tight contest at Oakwell on 74 minutes from a Manning cross, paving the way for Jamie Paterson to put the outcome beyond doubt with a second goal from the game’s next attack.

The modest Swans boss said: “That was up to them, not us. Olivier injected a lot of forward momentum and plays with such a swagger and confidence.

“He gave the team a lift for sure and Ryan Manning also showed his composure for the cross. It was a really nice move and a great goal.

“But I was really pleased and proud of all the guys. It was a really dominant, controlled performance with lots of purpose and patience.

“There was a real understanding of each other’s roles and the concentration levels were very good. We were good at the little details, including our discipline to play in possession and not get frustrated or anxious.

“I really enjoyed the first half. I know it wasn’t very exciting, but I thought we took a lot of energy out of Barnsley.”

Martin also dedicated the win to former Swansea manager Frank Burrows, with the team having heard of his death at the age of 77 prior to kick off.

“It was really important to mark Frank’s passing with a victory away from home,” Martin added.

Barnsley’s new boss Poya Asbaghi admitted that he would have fallen asleep in the first half if he had been a spectator at Oakwell, but also pointed out that providing entertainment will not be his first priority as he strives to steer the club away from trouble.

“In the first half, we were a well-organised team and did not allow Swansea to create any big chances until the last minute of the first half,” the former Sweden Under-21s manager said.

“As a spectator, I would have fallen asleep, because it wasn’t a super fun game to watch, but our ambition was not to make it the most fun game we could.

“We wanted to work well as a unit, which we did until half way through the second half when we did something we hadn’t done all match by losing concentration. Our reaction after conceding the first goal could have been better, but I know we won’t be the team with the highest confidence in the division at the moment.

“That’s really normal in this situation, but how you gain confidence is by having an organisational set-up that you can rely on. We had that for about 68 minutes and have got to develop that for a longer time.

“As players and management staff, we cannot look at the table and get stressed. I know the fans will, but we’ve got to keep working and then look at the table at the end of the season.”