Russell Martin admits he’s been thrilled by Ryan Manning’s evolution this season following the Irishman’s match winner for Swansea City against Preston North End.
The 25-year-old’s stunning second-half strike earned the Swans all three points against Ryan Lowe’s side as they brought an end to their five-game run without a victory.
And Martin believes Manning has been a revelation since slotting into a left centre-back role under the current regime.
“I love Ryan as a character and a player, playing in a position a lot of people were surprised to see him play in,” said the Swans boss.
“He’s grown a hell of a lot and he’s a young man who has a lot of room for improvement.
“He deserves that, and it’s a fantastic strike to win a game. He knows how I feel about him and what he’s capable of.
“I’m really pleased that we won the game and kept a clean sheet. We limited a very good team to one shot on target.
“I feel like we should have scored more goals. I think we started off a bit tense, it’s to be expected after not playing here or in front of our fans for six weeks.
“There was not quite enough spark or energy. But once we scored the goal I really liked us. We limited them to very little and the guys defended properly. We got the three points we deserved.”
Meanwhile, the head coach admitted his side needs further additions in the final stages of the January transfer window.
Swansea have already recruited goalkeeper Andy Fisher, right wing-back Cyrus Christie and attacker Hannes Wolf this month.
But Martin says his squad needs more depth to cope with the remaining 22 games of the Championship campaign.
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“I think it [bench] needs to be stronger in certain areas,” he added.
“I think we are a very young team, which is no problem. I think the way they managed the second half shows we’re a young team at times with some decision making.
“Kyle [Joseph] has been great. I felt the team needed energy at that time and someone who was willing to run really hard for the team and he did that.
“It caused them a few problems, and then Jay [Fulton] coming in to shore up the game. All you can ask is when someone goes on the pitch they do their job, and he certainly did that.
“The problem is, I think the bench is good, but outside that we’re very much down to bare bones. We just need to add a couple more in to help us.”
Swansea return to action against Queens Park Rangers at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Tuesday night. Kick-off is at 7:45pm.
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