Leon Britton hailed the character and resilience of his Swansea City AFC side after they came through an awkward evening against FC St Gallen with three more points in Group A.
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Leon Britton hailed the character of his Swansea City AFC team after they came through an awkward evening against FC St Gallen with a 1-0 win and three more points in UEFA Europa League Group A. Unlike their stunning 3-0 matchday one victory at Valencia CF, this was on "the gritty side" according to Britton, the Swans' stand-in captain, who admitted that Michael Laudrup's men rode their luck prior to Wayne Routledge's 52nd-minute winner. As for St Gallen's Roberto Rodriguez, he rued the missed opportunities – Goran Karanovic's saved penalty chief among them – that cost the Swiss outfit.
Leon Britton, Swansea midfielder
The first 25 minutes we started sloppily, they came out and played very well. [With St Gallen] missing the penalty and one-on-one, we could easily have been 2-0 down, but we grew into the game and we showed character to come away with a 1-0 victory. The second half we were probably the better team but didn't have too many chances; it was a tight game and if it was a draw you'd probably say it might have been a fair result.
The start we've had – two wins out of two, two clean sheets – has been fantastic and it's important to show you can win in different ways. After the Valencia game people talked about the fantastic football we played but tonight we showed the gritty side, the character to grind out a win, and we'll need that not just in the Europa League but the Premier League as well.
Chico Flores, Swansea defender
They made it very difficult for us. They had won their first game against [FC Kuban Krasnodar] at home so we knew it would be tough but they really did play well, especially in the first half. We defended well, kept them out and took the chance we had.
It's true that at the start they pushed onto us, quite high up. We had to try to play with a bit less width and instead get players forward more and have more penetration and it was a good game in the second half. We're delighted with the job done and the three points which put us top of the group with a home game to come against the Russians. We know we have to go step by step, like we did in the League Cup last year when we ended up winning it. We want to go as far as we can in the competition to enjoy it.
Roberto Rodriguez, St Gallen midfielder
We played really well, it was an excellent performance for 90 minutes. We missed a penalty at the start, [Marco] Mathys went through on goal and missed too, and there was the [Philippe Montandon] shot against the post in the second half. I think a point would have been fairer [but] against a big team with a lot of quality you have to score. You have to ask why we didn't do it. You could see they're a good team, though – they use the ball well.
For us it's the second game in the Europa League, we won the first, but we've four left and we're confident we'll get points at home. We're stronger there, and we have to continue in this vein. The other three are bigger teams, with better players and more money, but we've showed already that we can win at home. We have to go to Valencia and then play them at home. You never know, we'll try to play well, and play our own game.