Rodgers: Players wanted to honour their manager

SWANSEA (0) vs ASTON VILLA (0)

SWANSEA boss Brendan Rodgers insisted his side were eager to honour the memory of Wales manager Gary Speed, who passed away yesterday, by ensuring their Premier League fixture against Aston Villa went ahead.

Four members of the Wales national squad were involved in the fixture as Swansea’s Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor and Joe Allen as well as Villa’s James Collins started for their respective clubs, while Villa keeper Shay Given and second half substitute Jermaine Jenas both played with Speed at Newcastle.

“Gary was brilliant for these guys for the short period of time he was with them. I think our message was that we wanted to play the game for Gary Speed because he was a brilliant football man, as well as a great player and human being,” said Rodgers.

“The players wanted to do it for him and then it has set in after the game and it’s difficult for them.”

Understandably, under the circumstances, the game failed to catch light with neither goalkeeper unduly troubled until Given blocked Leroy Lita’s effort from close range late on. At the other end Michel Vorm saved from Darren Bent, whose Villa side have won just one of their last six matches.