The loss, which was the Swans first EFL Championship reverse of the season frustrated the Northern Irishman with his side unable to get out of first gear in the Midlands.
Having found themselves a goal down at the break to a Semi Adjayi strike, the Swans were their worst enemies at times. The unfortunate Carl Rushworth put through his own net trying to deal with a long throw under pressure to make it two for the Baggies, before Harry Darling’s rash challenge inside the penalty area allowed John Swift the chance to make it three, scoring from the resulting penalty.
Duff’s side to their credit didn’t fold and mounted a comeback with Darling’s bullet header reducing the arrears, whilst Nathan Wood headed home Arsenal loanee Charlie Patino’s pinpoint cross to set up a tense finale.
It would be too little, too late for the Welsh side as they would leave the West Country pointless with the former Barnsley head-coach unhappy with his side’s showing.
“There’s mainly frustration. We’re masters of our own downfall. We were too slow and too passive when we had the ball,” reflected Duff.
“In the first half, there was no purpose or intensity to what we’re doing. We are keeping it for the sake of keeping it and gave a poor goal away. You can’t afford first contact in your penalty area; it is a disaster.
“We need to learn, we are young, and it is a new group, but that is the mentality that we have to shift. We can’t wait till we are 1-0 down before we kick in. It’s starting on the front foot quicker.
“We came out in the second half and didn’t really show a lot more purpose, which is a frustration. We give two goals away. I think they had three shots on target from three set plays and then all of a sudden, we came alive.
“We can’t give poor goals away and can’t play at our own tempo. We need to play at a high tempo because they just tried sliding us along the pitch and hit us on the counter and that’s what teams are going to do.
“The positive is that we looked fit again and we moved it quicker. People came on and we changed formation. I don’t think that has a lot to do with it though. I think it’s just showing more purpose.
“They picked their biggest team today, so we needed to eradicate that achilles heel which has been a problem at the football club for a while.
“It needs to not become an anxiety, it’s just people doing their jobs. They get specific jobs, and they didn’t do it today.
“The positive is no one went under, they stuck together, no-one started looking after themselves.
“It’s getting that balance and being more front-footed with the ball. We’re not asking them to smash it, it’s just a bit safe and we’re keeping it for the sake of keeping it. We’re not hurting anyone and not breaking any lines.
“We had said we think we’re going to be fitter than them and that showed. Ultimately, if Jerry Yates‘ shot had gone in at 2-0 then there was a lot longer to go. The third goal was the killer goal really, it has been a disappointing and frustrating afternoon.
“We just said to them what’s the difference between 3-0 and 0-0. At 3-0 they are angry; we should start the game like that. They don’t want to get beat 4,5,6.
“All of a sudden when the ball comes in their box and our box, we start heading out everything, at 0-0 we don’t head anything. That is the difference in the game, and it has cost us a point at least.”
One positive for the Swans was the half-hour cameo of Arsenal loanee Padino who produced a few moments of magic on the ball including the cross for Wood for the Swans second goal.
“I thought he [Patino] looked really good. He’s a good footballer. He played with real purpose and played forward but kept it when we had to keep it, he was a real positive. I thought Gino [Josh Ginnelly] was also when he came on as well,” continued Duff.
“We’re pulling them all over the place because the ball is getting moved around the pitch quicker. We needed to keep moving them and then pockets arrive.
“They stuck together. They are a good group and a nice group; they do though need to lose the niceness and find an edge because there is quality in there.”
[Main image: Swansea City FC]
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