Aston Villa v Swansea reaction

The Welsh side went ahead in the fourth minute when Stephen Warnock

got in a mix-up and gave the ball straight to Nathan Dyer, who took

it on before firing past Brad Guzan. Former Villa man Wayne

Routledge then doubled the advantage two minutes into the second

half, pouncing when Danny Graham hit the post to seal a 2-0 triumph

and the Swans’ maiden victory on the road since their promotion to

the top flight last summer. They were more than worthy winners on

the day and manager Rodgers said: “It was a wonderful performance

and result for us to come to a place like Aston Villa, where

Swansea have never won. “I thought my players were brilliant today.

We scored two goals and could have had a few more. “Everything that

is good in our game was evident – the intelligence of our pressure

and some of our passing and interchange was exceptional. “It was

thoroughly deserved and I am delighted for the players and

supporters. “To get an away win is important. We spoke last night

about making a new commitment to our resolve away from home,

showing that little bit more steel so we get our rewards, and we

did that, which was very pleasing.” After Warnock’s blunder, there

was another error on Villa’s part in the build-up to the second

goal, goalkeeper Brad Guzan sending his goal-kick to a white shirt

and the ball coming to Routledge, who burst forward, laid on a pass

for Graham and then reacted swiftly to tuck away the rebound when

the striker’s shot came back off the upright. The mistakes summed

up a disappointing display from the midlanders, who were beaten at

home for the fourth successive time and came crashing back down to

earth after their shock 3-1 win at Chelsea on New Year’s Eve. Villa

boss Alex McLeish said: “It was unbelievable – frightening that

after such a good performance at the weekend and with confidence

and morale so high, we go and shoot ourselves in the foot. “I

thought in fact that we started quite bright, but then we started

to make passes to the side and back and it was a (failed) pass back

which cost us. “It is so disappointing to see us take the positive

steps forward, and then the step back today. “You can’t give goals

like that away – that is first and foremost. But we never really

had the inspiration in the forward areas that we had at the

weekend.” McLeish rejected the suggestion he had made a mistake

himself in only making one change from the Chelsea game 48 hours

earlier – Rodgers refreshed Swansea’s side extensively for the

second game in a row by making seven adjustments from their 1-1

draw with Tottenham on Saturday – although the Scot did view

tiredness as a factor in his team’s display. “I think it was a lot

to do with that. There is no doubt that the goal seemed to drain

them – certainly the second one,” said McLeish, whose side slipped

to 12th, with Swansea overtaking them to go 11th. “I did

contemplate changes, but we don’t have too many options to change

the team, and I really did feel that the morale and feel-good

factor from the weekend would be enough to get them through it. “I

have had that before with my teams and they have gone on fantastic

runs – when you think you need to rest players, they have just kept

going.” McLeish refused to be drawn on transfer speculation amid

reports he is interested in a move for Spurs midfielder Niko

Kranjcar and Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane. Swansea,

meanwhile, announced their second deal of the January transfer

window earlier on Saturdday, with Iceland midfielder Gylfi

Sigurdsson – who played under Rodgers at Reading – joining on loan

from Hoffenheim for the rest of the season. “Gylfi will join the

group on Wednesday. He is a terrific young player,” said Rodgers,

who has also recruited striker Rory Donnelly from Cliftonville.

“When I went in to manage at Reading, he was a young player who had

showed signs in pre-season, and I really liked him and stuck him in

the team. “He went on that season and got 20-odd goals. He is a

real threat with his shooting, and he understands the game – he is

a clever boy. “Our best chance was to get him on loan and it is a

terrific move for the club. We will review it and look at it after

the season finishes. “Rory was a good one for us – I think he is

one to develop, so we’ll see how he goes over the next few months.

“I like young players with talent, personality and hunger to

improve and both of these guys have got that. “Hopefully we can

maybe organise something else in that vein in the next one or two

days.”