Graham Potter praised Courtney Baker-Richardson as the striker ended Swansea’s goal drought and put them on the path to a comfortable 3-0 victory over QPR at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea’s wait for a competitive goal had lasted 291 minutes before Baker-Richardson fired home his first effort at senior level against a poor Rangers outfit.
In the second half strikes from Connor Roberts and substitute Jay Fulton made the game safe for Swansea and ensured Potter’s side jumped up into seventh in the Championship table.
“Courtney has different attributes to our other players and he had a bit of a thankless task, but he opened up some space for Oli McBurnie and he did everything asked of him,” Potter said.
“I was pleased he stayed on the field longer than the five minutes he did before he was sent off at Millwall and collectively I can’t fault any of my team.
“I said before we haven’t played as well as we would have liked at the Liberty and it was important to play well in front of our supporters.
“Our fans have been brilliant. They have stuck with us even though we haven’t given them too much to cheer about at home. I think they have appreciated our effort.
“But today we took a step forward in terms of our performance and what we are trying to do. It’s only one step forward. We have another game on Tuesday so we can enjoy this for a nanosecond before we have to start thinking about the next game.
“But I am really proud of the players. They have worked really hard all season and to get three points, three goals and a clean sheet is a reward for them.”
Swansea went ahead in the 16th minute when Kyle Naughton’s cross to the back post was headed down by McBurnie and Baker-Richardson fired home.
The 22-year-old should have had a hat-trick before the break, but missed an open goal from a yard-out when he blazed Roberts’ wicked deflected cross over the bar.
When Tom Carroll then robbed Ebere Eze in the away box, Baker-Richardson hit the target but saw Rangers goalkeeper Joe Lumley equal to the task.
The visitors were reduced to half chances throughout the game and their passing on the counterattack after the break infuriated manager Steve McClaren.
It allowed Swansea to make the game safe as Fulton’s pass found Roberts who cut inside on to his weaker left foot and fired into the back of the net for the crucial second.
There was still time for Fulton to turn from creator to scorer, as he found himself on the end of McBurnie’s pass to make it 3-0 late on.
“I am disappointed with the scoreline. In the first 15 minutes I thought we started well. We created chances, but the final ball was not right and we were not clinical in front of goal,” McClaren said.
“We conceded from their first attack. We came back well, in the second half especially and we had chances to equalise and got punished.
“After the second goal, there was only one result. It was not a 3-0 game. We’re just not scoring. We’re not clinical enough at the present moment and that is disappointing.”