Swansea lifted by United show of respect

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The Independent Football

Brendan Rodgers, the Swansea manager, has told his players that the strength of the Manchester United side they faced on Saturday is a compliment to how well they have started their maiden Premier League campaign.

Sir Alex Ferguson picked a strong team for United's first visit to the Liberty Stadium, with Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Nani, Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick all handed starting roles.

The 19-time league champions secured a 1-0 victory and ended Swansea's unbeaten home record in the process thanks to an early goal from Javier Hernandez, but Rodgers says the quality that Ferguson put on display shows how tough the trip to south Wales is being viewed in the top flight.

"I told the players the biggest compliment you can get is that they put their most hard-working team out there," he said. "You know when Sir Alex Ferguson puts the likes of Park [Ji-sung], Rooney, Ferdinand and Vidic out there that they mean business. He puts them in the big games and knew it was going to be difficult. I thought it was a massive compliment for us."

Despite the defeat, Rodgers feels he saw enough positive signs to suggest Swansea can bounce back when they host Aston Villa on Sunday.

"It was a good performance from us and there was plenty there that we can take into the Aston Villa game next weekend," he added.

Swansea lie 13th after 12 games and it is their home form that has given them a four-point advantage over the bottom three. They have picked up just two points from six away games and need to keep beating teams of Villa's level at home, where they have conceded only two goals, including United's.