Swansea City Leeds United

SWANSEA, WALES - FEBRUARY 13: Joel Piroe of Leeds United celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Leeds United at Liberty Stadium on February 13, 2024 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Boss Luke Williams Tells Swansea City Players, “You’re Not Brave Enough” After Piroe Show

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By Graham Thomas

Luke Williams has ordered his Swansea City to be braver after a “timid” capitulation at home Leeds United plunged them back into relegation worries.

The Swans were hammered 4-0 by Leeds United in another defensive horror show that could easily have been far more painful.

It was the club’s fifth defeat in six matches and it leaves them 17th in the Championship, seven points above the relegation zone but with the five clubs below them all having a game in hand.

Williams’ record since taking charge is now one league win in six, with one draw and four defeats with 13 goals conceded, although three of those defeats have been against the league’s top trio of clubs.

“If you are to compete against these top teams, you have to be braver,” said Williams.

“You can’t compete against Leeds United in the Championship playing like that.

“It was a difficult evening because we didn’t compete properly. We were too timid and you can’t play like that. We caused ourselves huge problems.

“When we got in close we didn’t win enough tackles.

“It’s difficult enough when they move the ball brilliantly and they find the space and pass to each other brilliantly.

“But when you do get close you have to compete. If you look at the way they applied pressure to our back line, that’s the difference.

That’s what top level looks like in the Championship.

“I don’t want us to be on the pitch making up the numbers – I want us to compete.

“So, if we’re going to try and compete with these top teams, we have to try and play the top model of football and that requires intensity, physicality, bravery.

“When we did take the ball in the early stages, we gave it away too quickly. You can’t compete against Leeds United in the Championship playing like that.”

Leeds sustained their challenge for automatic promotion with a seventh consecutive league victory, every bit as comfortable and stress-free as the scoreline suggests.

Daniel Farke’s team were 2-0 ahead inside 10 minutes and although they mostly coasted through a pedestrian second-half, their three-goal interval lead could easily have been twice as productive.

The Dutch duo of Crysencio Summerville and former Swans striker Joel Piroe split the early goals – to give the pair a combined total of 29 for the season – before Wilfried Gnonto scored twice to give him four in as many games.

The 20-year-old Italian showed composure with his first just before the break and then shredded the Swansea defence to make it 4-0 in the 72nd minute.

The scoreline equalled Leeds’ biggest win of the season and the influence of Piroe and fellow former Swan Joe Rodon only heightened the sense of gloom for the home club.

The only consolation Swansea could take was that their second-half performance was not as abject as their first.

Leeds manager Farke said: “This league is relentless and there is no time for complacency or to enjoy yourself too much.

“We must stay on it and ride this momentum. It was a massive win for us on the road – three points, four goals and a clean sheet.

“It was the most spot-on performance of the season in terms of execution and discipline. It was more or less exactly how we wanted to play.

“We have got the most points in the history of the club at this stage of the season in the Championship. The players and staff deserve a lot of praise for that.

“If you want to finish in the top positions, you need a special average points per game – above two points per game.”

Williams’ side had already appeared guilty of surrendering space too easily around their own penalty area by the time they fell behind in the seventh minute.

The shakiness of their defence was apparent as Summerville had time to dwell on the ball before firing a low shot which deflected off Jay Fulton to leave Carl Rushworth, the home goalkeeper, stranded.

Moments later, a rapid counter attack exposed Swansea’s defence again and although Leeds could not make that opportunity count, they soon made it 2-0.

Gnonto found Piroe from the right and the former Swans striker lazily swept a shot which seemed to go straight through a distraught Rushworth.

There seemed to be no place on the field from which the home side did not look horribly vulnerable to Leeds’ pace and movement.

Even a Swansea corner kick soon ended with pink shirts swarming past white ones and Gnonto should have beaten Rushworth, who this time got his body behind the ball.

But the keeper was soon bending to pick the ball out of the net for a third time as Gnonto this time found the corner with a neat finish in the 36th minute.

Swansea’s best chances came at the start of the second-half when Liam Cullen prodded the ball just past the near post, before Jamie Paterson hoisted the ball over the ball from close range.

But Gnonto claimed his second goal midway through the half and the night and the victory belonged to Leeds who are now unbeaten in 10 matches in 2024.

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One thought on “Boss Luke Williams Tells Swansea City Players, “You’re Not Brave Enough” After Piroe Show

  1. I just want yo say something about last nights game. I have been a lifelong Swans fan, starting in 1954 when I saw them go down to
    Southampton 1 – 2. I said then to my friend I’m not coming here again….. However I have followed them all these years, through many
    Ups and Downs. In all the years I have Never seen any Swans side PLAY DEAD…. like they did last night. Please don’t blame the
    manager, it’s all down to the players, they were beaten from the Kick Off. It has upset me and my son who is also a Swans fan. I just don’t
    where they go from here. Things have got to get better (somehow). WILL THEY PLAY DEAD AGAINST IPSWICH. (just remember the
    Ipswich cup exit). We will see.

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