RODGERS HAILS 'INCREDIBLE SEASON'
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers admits he could not have asked for any more from his players after concluding a remarkable debut Barclays Premier League campaign with victory over Liverpool.
Danny Graham's right-footed finish from Angel Rangel's astute pass four minutes from time gave the Swans a 1-0 win over Kenny Dalglish's visitors at the end of a season where the south Wales side have defied the odds.
Having being tipped for relegation the moment they secured promotion at Wembley last May, Rodgers and his men have confounded expectations with their effective style of keeping possession that yielded victories over the likes of Arsenal and champions Manchester City.
Ultimately Swansea narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish due to West Brom having scored just a solitary goal more over the course of the 38 games.
But Rodgers was rightly full of praise for his squad, the majority of whom have had to serve their time in the lower leagues before getting a shot at the top-flight.
"I couldn't have asked for any more from them, they have been incredible," said the Northern Irishman.
"We came up and we were written off. We were told we couldn't play football and stay up and we were told we weren't good enough.
"But look at what they have achieved. Every challenge that they have faced they have overcome.
"For me it's been a joy to stand there on the sidelines and watch them competing in the toughest league in the world.
"It's a fantastic achievement because at the start of the season if someone had offered me 17th place, I would have bitten the guy's arm off.
"The objective was to stay in league, but to finish 11th and miss out on a top 10 place by a goal makes me very proud and I don't know what more the players could have done."
Such have been the highs that Swansea have experienced, Rodgers admitted it was difficult for him to pick his personal highlight of the campaign.
But the 39-year-old felt that excellent home displays against the likes of City, Arsenal and Chelsea had been defining moments for his side.
"There have been defining moments throughout the season, beating Arsenal was a defining moment as it put us on the map in terms of how we play and beating a top opponent," he said.
"We had performances against Chelsea and Spurs that were superb without getting the three points.
"City are champions and we were better than them here, and then to beat a club like Liverpool with great players and a great history shows how well the players have performed."
But Rodgers also cautioned against raised expectations for next season, believing his side will face an even bigger test to hold on to their Premier League status.
"We have improvements to make for next season," he said.
"The memories will last for us but we have to recuperate, recover and become better as the challenge will increase next year and we have to be ready for it."
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