Trophy competition helping develop youngsters, says Toshack
Cameron Toshack expressed his delight with Swansea City’s 2-1 win over League Two side Newport County in the Checkatrade Trophy at Rodney Parade on Tuesday night.
The young Swans, who included Stephen Kingsley, Jay Fulton, Mark Birighitti and Alfie Mawson in their starting XI, took the lead thanks to a first-half header from striker Botti Biabi.
Swansea contained Newport’s attack in the second half as Alex Samuel's late strike sealed victory before a consolation goal from County winger Jennison Myrie-Williams.
“I’m very pleased with the win,” said Toshack. “When you play EFL opposition you know you are going to have to dig deep to get a result.
“That is exactly what our young lads did tonight - they rolled up their sleeves in a very competitive game against a physical side who made it difficult for us going forward.
“The result was a real team effort. I thought every player involved worked really hard to get the result on a difficult pitch against seasoned professionals.”
Toshack and fellow coach Gary Richards handed a first competitive start to summer signing Alfie Mawson.
The 22-year-old, who signed from Barnsley in August, partnered Keston Davies in the heart of the young Swans defence.
“I’m pleased Alfie could get his first game under his belt tonight,” addedToshack. “Having him and the other lads (Mark Birighitti, Jay Fulton and Stephen Kingsley) train with us this week has been a real boost for the group. The first-team quality they have lifts the training session.
“Our players are definitely learning and developing from being in this competition. I understand there are mixed views on the structure but it is a great opportunity for our younger players to experience first-team football against experienced professionals.
“It was really important we got points from tonight’s game. A win keeps our hopes of progressing to the knockout stage alive. It is all to play for now against Plymouth in November.”