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I saw an organised and committed side out there. We need to continue to build but the first step is to show that commitment and that is what we have done again.

Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka spoke to the press after today’s goalless draw at the Liberty Stadium…

Aitor Karanka on the performance at Swansea…

“I am really pleased, it was another tough game against a team that was playing in the play-offs last season. It has been a really good performance again, I saw an organised and committed side out there. We need to continue to build but the first step is to show that commitment and that is what we have done again. For me, a clean sheet means a lot, it shows we have been organised, been solid, having eleven players on the pitch and seven more on the bench that are encouraging and supporting each other is so important. We just need to keep improving and keep growing. We had chances, good chances at set-pieces. So the work we are doing on the training pitch is paying off. More than anything, the attitude of the team was very good. This league is demanding. I always say when you play organised, when you play with this type of commitment and attitude, you are going to win games." 

Aitor Karanka on the half-time incident involving Jon Total…

“I didn’t see what happened, but as soon as I got the players in the changing room I told them to forget about what had happened and to focus on our game. What happened in the tunnel was the past, and we needed to focus on present and the game, show you are better than your opponent on the pitch.”

Aitor Karanka on his goalkeeping options after handing Neil Etheridge his debut...

“Neil made some great saves and he is a great goalkeeper, this week it was Neil and last week it was Zach Jeacock. They have both been called upon and they have both played well. For me to have 'keepers like them and Andres Prieto (who is injured at the moment) it is really important. It is good for me as a coach, but also good for the defenders and the team, I used to be a defender and when you know you have a proper keeper who is calm behind you it helps you a lot, this week it was Neil and last week it was Zach, it is really good for the team.”

Aitor Karanka on the influence of Ivan Sanchez, who has made an impressive start to his Blues career...

"We know how he was important going to be in his normal place (position) on the ball and at set-pieces, the way he takes them. They are always a danger to the opponent, which is nice."

Aitor Karanka on the difficulty in selecting his final 18, having left out Maikel Kieftenbeld and David Davis from the travelling group, with Caolan Boyd-Munce as 19th man...

“The squad I picked today was my decision, I chose the 18/19 who travelled. Maikel has had an amazing pre-season, but players like Adam Clayton and Gary Gardner have come in/back from injury. As Head Coach I have to make the decision as to my 18/19 and it was a tough decision. Maikel is a top professional. With me since the very beginning, he has been very good, today I had to make a decision with the players who I wanted to travel.”

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