Rodgers hails 'mammoth effort'

BY foxsports • October 2, 2011

Swansea have attracted plenty of praise for their passing style but they showed that they can also handle the grittier side of the game as a Scott Sinclair penalty and record signing Danny Graham's first goal for the club sealed a win which puts them up to 10th in the table. The clean sheet also ensured that no visiting side has breached the Swans defence so far this term, and Rodgers was full of admiration for their efforts. He said: "It was a mammoth effort, everyone knows Stoke are one of the most difficult teams to play against and I thought our performance and what we put into the game was incredible. "My players have put a marker down that people who do not know us will look at. "Everyone talks about our style and our football, I think you saw there is a steel in the team. To keep a clean sheet against a team like that...the players were incredible and they got their just rewards." Sinclair's 10th-minute opener came after a rash tackle from Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross on Wayne Routledge, with the winger calmly converting his second spot-kick of the season. Graham then sealed the win as he lifted the ball over Asmir Begovic with five minutes left for his maiden strike since his £3.5million move from Watford. And Rodgers praised Graham for keeping his nerve and not letting the pressure of having to wait for that first goal get to him. "He has been outstanding since he has come in and when you have his quality it's a matter of time," he said. "In fairness to him, that's the first clear run he has had in on goal. In the games he has played his movement has been great and he has linked the game well. "When he gets a chance, nine times out of 10 he will put it away, and he got a great ovation at the end which he thoroughly deserved. "It was a a wonderful finish, he showed great composure and technique to lift it over the keeper and it was a goal he and the team thoroughly deserved." For Stoke, this was the second Premier League defeat they have suffered after playing in Europe in midweek, following on from a 4-0 reverse at Sunderland two weeks ago. Glenn Whelan and Jon Walters went closest for the visitors. Whelan saw his low free-kick come back off the post while Walters' volley was helped on to the bar by Michel Vorm. But manager Tony Pulis admitted giving away the early penalty had made life difficult for his side, who he believed were feeling the effects of their midweek exertions against Besiktas early on. He said: "We gave them a good start, Ryan's challenge was a poor challenge which he did not have to make as the kid was going away from goal, and they get the start every team in the Premier League wants. "It lifted them, they were nice and bright in that first 15 minutes, but after that time lapsed until they got the second I thought we were the team looking to get the equaliser. "Psychologically three games at this level in a week is tough, we looked a little leggy in the first 15 minutes, but we grew into the game and if Walters' effort goes in or Whelan's doesn't hit the post it could have been different. But those are the fine lines."

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