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'I love Ryan as a character' - Praise for Irish international after match-winning display

The Galway-born wing-back settled the game against Preston from long range.

Ryan Manning (r) of Swansea City celebrates after scoring.
Ryan Manning (r) of Swansea City celebrates after scoring.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

SWANSEA HEAD coach Russell Martin hailed the character of match-winner Ryan Manning after the wing-back’s super strike earned a 1-0 win over Preston.

Manning’s 25-yard drive six minutes into the second half brought the game to life after a poor-quality first 45 minutes and it was enough to earn the hosts a first victory since 24 November.

Martin was delighted that it was a moment of real quality from the 25-year-old Irishman who made the difference.

“I love Ryan as a character,” said the Swans boss. “I think he’s grown a lot and I’m so pleased for him. He deserves that. It was a fantastic strike.

“He knows how I feel about him, what he’s capable of and what he needs to do to really get it out of him.”

Manning also contributed to a first clean sheet for his side since their win at Barnsley in November.

“We were pleased with a clean sheet; we kept a very good team to one shot on target in 90 minutes,” said Martin, whose side remain 17th in the table after their first home match since Covid restrictions banning supporters from matches were lifted.

“We should have scored a couple more goals. We just needed to show a bit more calmness in front of goal.

“We started a little bit tense in the first half, we were a little bit flat. But I think that’s to be expected after not playing here in front of our supporters for six weeks.

“In the second half we were much better. I really liked us once we scored the goal and the game became a lot more open.

“I’m pleased for the supporters. They’ve been so patient and understanding of what’s gone on.

“I thought the atmosphere was great and we really fed off that in the second half. Hopefully, it stays like that now for the rest of the season.”

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Ryan Lowe admitted his side did not do enough to deserve anything from the match.

“I thought we might get something at the end but, in general, I thought the turnovers were too quick,” said the Preston manager.

“We gave away the ball too cheaply and we were trying to force the pass at times.

“I wanted us to be a bit braver and on the front foot in the final third.

“I thought we ran our socks off but it’s just that last little bit; we know we’ve got to try to find a way of scoring more goals and the final ball wasn’t right.

“The effort is always going to be there but we were just lacking that little bit of quality in certain areas.”

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