Matty Sorinola of Swansea City. Pic: Getty Images.

We’re Young And We Lack A Killer Instinct, Admits Swansea City Boss Russell Martin

By David Williams

Swansea City head coach Russell Martin admitted he was a relieved man after his side avoided a slip-up against 10-man bottom club Blackpool to eke out a 2-1 win.

A man down for over half an hour after the dismissal of Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino, the Tangerines cancelled out Matty Sorinola’s opener through a Sonny Carey goal in the 70th minute.

But Sorinola’s cross was turned into his own goal by Blackpool defender Callum Connolly three minutes later to give the Swans their first win in four league games.

Blackpool remain bottom of the table and without a win in 14 matches, they are four points from safety.

“Tonight, it is probably a bit of relief,” said Martin after Blackpool piled on heavy late pressure and hit the post through Carey.

“I’m really proud of the players. We have the youngest team in the Championship, but we should have been out of sight again by half-time, we were so dominant and we created loads.

“I’m really frustrated with our players as we took our foot off the gas and the crowd sensed it. We don’t have the instinct to really kill it.

“Just before half-time they had two openings on the counter attack and Fish made comfortable saves, but they were shots on target which are avoidable. That created a bit of anxiety in the crowd and in our players and it gave them (Blackpool) hope and energy.

“They hit the post late on, it made everyone feel more anxious, so it probably became more difficult than it should have been, but I understand it.”

Swansea move up to fifth – five points adrift of the play-offs – but they were clinging on at the end.

Martin added: “I know you guys want to keep talking about two wins in 16, you want to include the cup games, you want to play to that narrative, it’s cool.

“Some of the performances in that run were really outstanding. We score the third most goals in the league, maybe fourth, with two recognised strikers and no wingers. I think the players deserve huge credit for that.

“But we concede too many goals.

“You have seen tonight, we are the youngest team in the Championship. We are embarking on a journey where we have to do that.

“The January window highlighted that. I don’t want to talk about the window, but there’s been a massive hangover from that, from staff here, from supporters.

“We can’t do anything about it. we are as frustrated about it as anyone else.

“But we made a decision to get on with it and focus all our energy on the players, to help develop them.

“We won tonight. I am really pleased about that. The players in the dressing room were frustrated because they know they can be better.

“But to manage that anxiety, to play the way we play, it’s not easy.

It’s a big win for us and hopefully it can helps us restart something.

“We are five points off the play-offs with the youngest team in the league.

“As a club, players, supporters, staff, everyone, we just have to pull together and get behind the group of young players. That is the only choice we have.”

Blackpool manager Mick McCarthy said: “It was a difficult first half and we found it hard to cope with them.

“They deserved their lead, but in the second half the lads were great.

“We have had another sending off, but I’m not going to be too harsh on Charlie. He’s a young lad and he was just a bit rash. He was trying to win the ball.

“With 10 men, we have made a really good effort and got one back. Really, we could have got the second as well because we played well.”

Blackpool have not won in the league since October 29 and they have 15 games left to pull themselves clear.

But McCarthy insisted: “The lads all care. We had our chances so I’m disappointed with losing here.

“We are bottom of the league, but there is no point in being miserable about it. We have got to keep looking up.”

Swansea led after Ryan Manning’s cross from the left eventually found wing-back Sorinola and he swivelled neatly to fire a low volley past Maxwell.

Patino was dismissed for a second yellow card after a foul on Sorinola but Carey levelled things up for Blackpool in the 70th minute.

The midfielder latched onto Jerry Yates’ cross and finished calmly.

But Blackpool’s joy was short-lived as within two minutes the Swans eased back in front through an own goal by Connolly.

Sorinola’s cross was awkward, but Connolly made a hash of his clearance to send the ball into his own net.

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