For the first time this season, Graham Potter did not try to varnish the truth, find a positive, or seek to defend Swansea City’s owners for their recklessness after the club’s first defeat of the season.
The 1-0 home loss to Bristol City had so little to commend it from a Swans perspective that even the bushy-tailed Potter looked downcast and accepting of the opposition’s superiority – opponents who had failed to win any of their opening four matches this season.
Swansea were desperately poor in the first-half, so abject that Potter’s normal faith in his young team had extinguished by the break during which he made two changes.
Things got a little better, but not much and the manager admitted: “It was one of those days when it wasn’t quite happening for us.
“We huffed and puffed and got a bit better as the second half wore on, but the reality is that we didn’t do enough to get anything from the game. Credit to Bristol City, they were the better team.”
Swansea’s ability in midweek to pass their way through their opponents – against a Leeds United team a cut above Bristol City – had disappeared four days later. The sharpness and penetration of that performance was replaced by inaccuracy and predictability.
Nor did Potter attempt to fall back on the old excuse of weariness after playing two games in four days. In the Championship, that would be like a farmer complaining about the weather.
“It’s an easy one to say but everyone plays Saturday then Tuesday. It’s not about that.
“The goal within 20 seconds doesn’t help in terms of the mood or the focus so that we can improve on it. It’s part of our challenge.
“I think you get that with a new group of young players. To be able to go again and maintain that consistency of performance is the challenge and it doesn’t that doesn’t help when you’re one-nil down after 30 seconds.”
The confirmation of the loan signing of Cameron Carter-Vickers should at least give Potter more options in central defence, but it is further forward – in midfield and up front – where further additions seem more pressing.
That fact was conceded by Potter in his praise for centre-back Joe Rodon and his admission that he could neither put a number on the extent of further loan signings or guarantee they would even happen.
“I thought Joe again was wonderful to be honest. His performance was a real positive for us.
He (Carter-Vickers) has had experience last year in the Championship and the year before as well. He’s been at Tottenham.
“He’s got some really good attributes that we can use and we’re looking forward to working with him, helping him improve and hopefully he can help us as well.
“Like I’ve said all along, we’ll try to strengthen. It’s not as easy as that in terms of finding the right ones, the right profile and the availability but we’ll keep working and we’ll see. You never know.”
Bristol City’s match-winner was Andreas Weimann, who struck early and whose energy unsettled Swansea throughout.
The former Aston Villa, Derby and Wolves player has re-invented himself as a central striker under Johnson and the result has been a rapid start to the season with five goals in as many games.
Wiemann’s speed out of the blocks is a blessing bestowed by his parents, said City manager Lee Johnson.
The Austrian scored after just 31 seconds and Johnson said: “His mum was a 400m sprinter for Austria and his dad was ,too. He’s got an athletic family and it’s good to see he has that speed, too.
“It seems like he’s been around for ever. But he’s only 27 and he has a lot of his career left ahead of him.
“The last time he played up front through the middle I thunk we scored 12 goals for Aston Villa in the Premier League.
“We are not in a market where we can go and spend £15m so we have work differently. We did it with Bobby Reid last season – finding a guy’s attributes.”
Wiemann’s goal would have made would-be striker Usain Bolt jealous. The home defence had hardly stopped their stretches by the time the Robins’ striker dragged the ball back under his foot and across the line from Niclas Eliasson’s cross.
A youthful Swansea looked shell-shocked and they never really recovered. For the first time this season, their threadbare resources were exposed.
Oli McBurnie, their own leading scorer with three goals so far, looked jaded and Potter revealed the Scot has been playing with a hairline fracture of his toe.
Swans skipper Mike van der Hoorn had a header cleared off the line by Wiemann and both Bersant Celina and Matt Grimes went close, but Potter knows a stinker when he sees one.
After failing to win any of their opening four games, Johnson’s low key rebuilt side now have back-to-back away victories.
They should have sewed things up before the end, but Callum O’Dowda. Wiemann and Matty Taylor were all denied by the excellence of Erwin Mulder in Swansea’s goal.
Johnson added: “It’s only three points, but we shows a lot people what we are about – a team ethic and working hard for each other.
“It’s 11 people who are greater than the sum of their parts. That was very successful mantra for us last season.”
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