Ronald of Swansea City

Ronald of Swansea City celebrates his first goal. Pic: Getty Images.

I’m A Dinosaur, Says Swansea City Coach Luke Williams As Ronald Roams Free

By Paul Jones

Swansea City boss Luke Williams reckons he’s a footballing dinosaur, but he enjoyed watching Ronald proving wingers are certainly not yet extinct.

The Brazilian winger scored twice to earn the praise of head coach Williams following the club’s crucial 2-1 victory at Sunderland.

The win meant the Swans remain four points clear of the relegation zone, a margin that would have been narrowed to a single point had they lost on a day when three of the clubs below them all won.

January signing Ronald scored a first-half double and celebrated both with Ronaldo-style celebrations as Mike Dodds’ first game as Sunderland’s interim boss ended in defeat.

The visitors could have been out of sight after a one-sided first-half display but Ronald’s double – the 22-year-old’s first goals since joining from Gremio in January – was enough as Swansea got back to winning ways after two home defeats.

“Ronald deserved both the goals,” said Swansea boss Williams, “and I think he has probably deserved one or two more key actions – assists in previous games.

“He was a huge threat today. He is so quick and direct so I am really happy for him.”

Ronald ought to have had an assist at Sunderland when he crossed for Przemyslaw Placheta, only for the Poland international winger to blaze over from close range.

Ronald then came close to completing what would have been a rare Swansea hat-trick when his drive was turned on to the post late on.

Placheta also hit the woodwork on a day when Swansea’s wide players had plenty of joy, with Williams impressed by the efforts of the two mid-season recruits.

“I think maybe I’m a bit of dinosaur these days, a bit of throwback, but I love to see these type of actions,” Williams added.

“For Pzemy and Ronald, there is a lot of high-intensity work to get behind these backlines and then to steady themselves and deliver into the box.

“Josh Tymon as well joined in the attack and put some fantastic balls in. I like that – I am really happy to see that.

“The first half in particular was strong. I think we were good value for the result.

“We have been seeing some really good performance markers in games but it’s difficult when the result is negative. We felt we were improving bit by bit and today is a big step forward.

“We need now to try and improve so that we can control longer periods of the game.

“The opposition was brilliant in the second half and put us under a lot of pressure but on the flip side I saw the team defending well.”

Dodds impressively led the Black Cats to two wins from three games during a stint in charge in December after Tony Mowbray’s dismissal and was handed the reins until the end of the season after Michael Beale’s sacking earlier this week.

But the home side were outplayed by Swansea, who eased their relegation woes with a deserved win.

Luke O’Nien gave Sunderland hope late in the second half but the Black Cats couldn’t force a leveller. The Black Cats have now lost three games on the bounce and their play-off hopes are fading fast.

Dodds said: “It didn’t work, it doesn’t take an expert to see that.

“One thing I demonstrated last time I was in this role and that’ll I’ll keep reiterating is that while I’m in this position I’ll continue to make bold decisions. Sometimes that will be a positive, sometimes a negative.

“We’ve got to take that first 45 on the chin, me, the staff and the players. I wouldn’t have sent the players out if I wasn’t confident the message was really clear, so that’s something as a collective we all have to take on the chin.

“I know I’ve been really bold in terms of my decisions and how I’ve tried to set up, I’m not going to take all the responsibility because it’s a relationship between me and the players.”

 

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