Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Rodgers relieved to get rewards

Brendan Rodgers

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers revealed that he challenged his players not to end up as "heroic losers" at half-time of their 1-1 draw with Barclays Premier League title hopefuls Tottenham at the Liberty Stadium.

Rafael van der Vaart gave in-form Spurs a 44th-minute lead, but Swansea refused to be bowed and an extended period of second-half pressure yielded an equaliser as Scott Sinclair pounced to give the Welsh club the first point they have picked up this season after going behind.

"This will be a really good result for us psychologically. I said to the players at half-time that we don't want to come off the field as heroic losers, to put so much in and end up with nothing to show for it," said Rodgers.

"People would be saying it's alright playing our tippy-tappy football but it's no good if you then lose the game, but it was a fantastic performance.

"It's always good to put on a performance and result against a top team and you can see our growth. When we lost at home against Manchester United we were stand-offish and not ourselves, so you could see we had learned from that."

Spurs arrived in south Wales as arguably the top flight's form side, having lost just once in the league since the end of August, and victory would have seen them capitalise on Manchester United's surprise defeat against Blackburn and close within four points of the league summit.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp was left to rue the "catalogue of errors" that denied his side all three points, but heaped praise on Swansea's attractive passing style.

"It was a sloppy goal," he said. "One or two of them switched off and we didn't pick up Sinclair, we have let him come in unmarked so it was a catalogue of errors, but that's how it goes.

"It was a tight game, they are a good side, I like the way they play. The way they pass is amazing really. The belief Brendan has installed into them to play is top class.

"Anyone coming here and winning will do well, only United have won here and that was a tough game. You are obviously disappointed when you are winning and get pegged back, but the last 20 minutes they came on strong and, in the end, deserved their equaliser."

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