Luke Williams accepts blame for Swansea’s FA Cup humbling at Bournemouth

By Sports Desk January 25, 2024

Swansea boss Luke Williams apologised for his team set-up after a “horrible night” saw them thrashed 5-0 by Bournemouth in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Williams had made five changes from Saturday’s 3-1 Sky Bet Championship defeat by Southampton, but soon found their game plan torn apart as the Premier League side raced into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes.

Lloyd Kelly gave the hosts an early lead when he volleyed in David Brooks’ free-kick at the far post, with Alex Scott soon adding another in the 10th minute.

Swansea goalkeeper goalkeeper Andy Fisher was punished when his loose pass was latched onto by Scott, who set up Luis Sinisterra to slot in Bournemouth’s third goal with just 14 minutes played.

After Kyle Naughton’s effort hit the post at the other end, Swansea fell further behind when Wales midfielder Brooks broke away onto Dominic Solanke’s through-ball in the 34th minute.

Solanke made it 5-0 just before half-time when he slotted in a low cross from Sinisterra.

Swansea stemmed the flow during the second half, but Bournemouth still created chances, with substitutes Kieffer Moore and Milos Kerkez both going close late on.

Williams offered no excuses. He said on S4C: “It was a horrible night for us.

“I apologised to the players because I tried to set the team up to give a problem to the opposition. It is a cup game and we have to try to find a way to win.

“But I put the balance wrong, with too many players in advanced positions and then in the turnover there is not enough bodies to stem the flow of the attack, and the opposition were very good.

“In the second half we had more bodies back, but then it was very difficult for us to get near their goal. We tried to limit the damage because the scoreline was too heavy.”

The sides had already met once earlier this season in the Carabao Cup, when Bournemouth edged through 3-2 at the Swansea.com Stadium with a late goal from Ryan Christie.

Williams admitted some of his players had looked “nervous” as they were taken apart during a blistering opening spell from the Cherries.

“I don’t want to single anybody out or talk about individual errors,” he said.

“We are playing against an outstanding team, who we are probably going to lose against because there is a big gap in the quality of the two teams at this moment in time.

“But tactics aside, making very easy openings (for Bournemouth) by making mistakes, that was disappointing – but I needed to help the team quicker and find a way to give them more bodies behind the ball to defend.”

Brooks captained Bournemouth, and was named player of the match having provided two assist as well as his goal.

“I’m trying to do the best I can when I get the minutes and the opportunities,” the Wales midfielder said.

“We have got a great group of players and today was one of the chances I get to show what I am capable of, and hopefully I’ve done that.

“I want to be as fit as possible for the (Euro 2024 play-offs with Wales in March) so am trying to get as much football as possible.

“These are the games where I can show what I can do to bump up the minutes ahead of the qualifiers.”

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