Rodgers expresses Swansea pride

17 May 2011 07:30

Brendan Rodgers spoke of his pride after Swansea saw off Nottingham Forest 3-1 to reach the npower Championship final and insists he has no preference over who his side meet at Wembley on May 30.

Swans emerged victorious from a thrilling semi-final second leg on a memorable night at the Liberty Stadium, Leon Britton and Stephen Dobbie handing the hosts a 2-0 lead before Forest substitute Robert Earnshaw set up a thrilling finale which ended with Darren Pratley clinching matters deep into injury time.

"I'm so proud of the club and obviously the players in particular, it was an absolute heroic performance over two legs," said Rodgers after an open, electrifying encounter in which the woodwork was struck four times.

"It was a brilliant game, it was probably a final there in relation to the quality of both sides. You have to pay credit to Nottingham Forest for coming here, with our record, and play like they did. They played very, very well. But I think the night belongs to my group, my players and the supporters because, as I said, they were absolutely heroic."

Rodgers will now go on a spying mission at Tuesday night's other semi-final second leg between fierce south Wales rivals Cardiff and former employers Reading, whom he managed for a brief six-month spell in 2009.

The tie is goalless after the first encounter and asked whether he would like an historic all-Welsh final, Rodgers replied: "I'm not bothered. Reading are a club who mean a lot to me, they gave me a chance in this country and funny enough I went to watch their last play-off final they lost in 1995 as a supporter with them and a young coach at the time.

"Of course, a Swansea v Cardiff final would be absolutely unbelievable. I might have to hide for a week until the day."

The scoreline will appear somewhat convincing to onlookers who were not present at the Liberty but Forest more than matched their opponents and enjoyed a host of openings throughout. Forest boss Billy Davies remained upbeat despite the heartbreaking defeat and felt Swansea were "put to the sword" in the second half.

"I said to the players at the end, 'we could do no more'. I thought their performance in the second half was magnificent," he said. "I've got to say I'm not disappointed, I'm not down. I'm very, very upbeat because of what my players gave us.

"I told them to get their heads up because when you play as well as you've played away from home in the second leg, hit the woodwork three times and had some good clear-cut opportunities - there's no doubt as a manager you just can't complain. It just wasn't to be."

Source: PA

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Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
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