Tireless Molby steadies Swansea

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The Independent Online
York City 0 Swansea City 0

It may have been a bloodless affair, but at least this game suggested Jan Molby's recruitment as player-manager may be a far, far better thing than Swansea have done for a long time.

The former Liverpool midfielder is the struggling Second Division side's fifth manager this season, which speaks volumes about their plight. They have not scored for six matches, have the division's worst defensive record, are second from bottom, and are sponsored by an oil company, which is not likely to impress many people in South Wales at the moment.

However, Molby's presence was inspirational. His new charges outplayed York for much of the game and they kept a clean sheet. The Dane also showed that his footballing brain is still acute and his touch exquisite.

Keith Walker's suspension forced Molby to play an unaccustomed role in the middle of the back four, a position in which someone who can neither jump nor run might have been a liability. But his positional sense more than compensated for his lack of mobility and, on the rare occasions when York threatened, it was often Molby who sealed the holes.

Swansea began as though they were fresh from an Anfield coaching session, their pass-and-run tactics overwhelming York and, with Molby spraying incisive 30-yard passes around, a striker with a nose for goal could have ended their drought. Molby began the move which ended with David Thomas' volley thumping against the crossbar from Andy Cook's cross - the nearest either side came to scoring.

Swansea already appear to have put the worst of times behind them, but the best of times may still be some way off, as Molby acknowledged. "We have been working on our passing and the players are receptive to my ideas, but we will need a striker with a bit of pace," he said.

York City (4-3-3): Kiely; McMillan, Atkin, Barras, Atkinson; Pepper, Bushell, Randall; Barnes, Naylor (Peverell, 78), Cresswell. Substitutes not used: Himsworth, Jordan.

Swansea City (4-3-3): Freestone; Clode, Molby, Edwards, Cook; Penney, Cornforth, Chapple; Hodge, Torpey, Thomas (Ampadu, 69). Substitutes not used: Coates, Jones (gk).

Referee: T Heilbron (Newton Aycliffe).

Attendance: 2,786.

Man of the match: Molby.