Swansea manager Brendan Rogers said his side got its just reward after clinching promotion to the English Premier League on Monday.
The Welsh club looked in control at half-time of the Championship playoff against Reading at Wembley after jumping out to a 3-0 lead inside 40 minutes.
But Reading scored twice in the first 12 minutes of the second half to give hope to their band of supporters, only for Scott Sinclair’s penalty – his third goal of the game – to ice the result for Swansea on 80 minutes.
“It was a fantastic game,” said Rodgers, who was sacked as Reading coach in December 2009 and joined Swansea in July 2010.
“I don’t think we played as well as we did for most of the season.”
“But on the moments when we did show our quality we were very, very good.”
“Conceding two goals helped us refocus and get a bit of control.”
“These players deserve to be in the Premier League, they showed great courage. It’s fantastic. The supporters today were incredible and it’s nice to repay their faith and get promotion.”
“It was a proper, proper game and these players deserve to be in the Premier League.”
Reading manager Brian McDermott was left to rue what could have been, with midfielder Jem Karacan smacking the upright with his drive when the score at 3-2.
He told reporters after the game that his side ‘would have won’ if it had made it 3-3, and that he considered his team the better on the day.
“I thought when we got to 3-2 we were going to win the game,” he said.
“I said to the players at half-time, ‘Don’t worry about four goals, get one’. We were inches away from the third goal. If we had made it 3-3 we would have won that game.”
“What I can say is I thought we were by far the better side.”
“We gave away a penalty, the second goal went straight to one of their players after (goalkeeper) Adam Federici palmed it out, the third went straight to one of their players.
“Obviously, the fourth goal killed the game but our players were a credit to the fans and club. I’m proud of the players. They showed great resilience. They are a great bunch. The fans could see the team giving it absolutely everything.”
But despite believing his side were the better outfit, McDermott had praise for winners Swansea and tipped them to deal with the step up to the English top flight: “Credit to Swansea. In the first half they were very good. They are a really good side and in the Premier League they will do well.”