The second half would be a tale of composure and good goalkeeping as captain Matt Grimes doubled the lead for the visitors with a long-range effort.
Ukrainian forward Mykola Kukarevich would open his account for Duff’s side to seal the match, heading home Josh Key’s pin-point cross, but with the scores a 2-0 the Swans would be in debt to on-loan Brighton shot-stopper Carl Rushworth who pulled off a string of crucial saves to protect the Swans clean sheet.
Following a similar scoreline victory over rock-bottom Sheffield Wednesday at the Swansea.com Stadium last weekend, it is now seven points from nine for the Swans from the last three games with Duff feeling things are slowly coming together.
“I’m really pleased, it is a difficult place to come. I think we showed all aspects of our game today,” said Duff.
“It was forty-plus passes for the lead-up to the penalty. I think the lead up to the second goal was 20-25 passes.
“They came out in the second half and put us under pressure. We had to change shape a couple of times, but then we came back out of it.
“I’m pleased with the building, growth and learning from the QPR game. We knew we would come under a bit of pressure.
“We defended the box well. They had a few shots where Carl [Rushworth] made a couple of saves and then we came back out and that’s pleasing from the last away game.
“We want to play good football, but it has to be built on a foundation. Since the Cardiff game where we let everybody down, we’ve conceded one in the 94th minute at QPR and kept two clean sheets since, so it gives you a platform.
“Carl has been a bit unlucky because we have not conceded that many in the last few weeks. The ones that he has, he’s not really had a chance with, and it is not like he has been making save after save.
“I thought his distribution was good today and he came for crosses when he needed to. It was an assured performance; he didn’t put us under any unnecessary pressure.
“I thought the penalty should have been a red card. You’re thinking it’s going to be a lot easier afternoon than it ended up being, but luckily, we’re not talking about the referee, we are talking about lots and lots of positives.
“We’re building a platform but we’re miles away from where we want it to be, but with the amount of change at the football club it will take time.”
Duff would also be full of praise for forward Kukarevich, who after a difficult start to life in South Wales, his manager feels is reaping the rewards for hard work shown on the training ground. The Ukrainian opened his account for the club sealing the victory for his team after replacing fellow striker Jerry Yates who had been forced off with a dead leg.
“It has been really difficult for Myko [Kukarevich], he’s a young player who has come from a foreign country. People see his size and think he should be knocking people over,” continued Duff.
“He has been doing loads of extras in training, particularly with Pater [Martin Paterson] of how to use his body. It was another well-worked goal he scored.
“Hopefully, it will give him the boost that he needs and show him that hard work pays you back. I’m a firm believer in that.”
With games coming thick and fast, Duff is hoping that he will have both Yates and Charlie Patino, another to be forced off at the Den, available for Wednesday evening’s home clash against Norwich City at the Swansea.com Stadium. The Northern-Irishman, however, revealed it is unlikely Danish wing-back Kristian Pederson will feature until after the October international break.
“Jerry [Yates] took two dead legs, so we will have to wait and see on that and Charlie [Patino had cramp,” explained Duff.
“Kristian [Pederson] felt his groin in training. It shows that people then have to come in and impact the game. I thought he was our best player last week. I’m not sure whether he will be fit for the next two games.
“There’s been lots of change, lots of injuries with Kristian as well as the other lads who have been well discussed. I thought the lads who came in impacted the game really well and it ended up being a comfortable 3-0.
“The lads are in tomorrow for a cool down so hopefully nothing else will turn up because we are getting a little bit thin on the ground now.”
[Lead image: Swansea City FC]
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