1. ITV Report

Dan James says hard work 'paid off' after inspiring Swansea comeback

Dan James scored senior goal for the club. Credit: PA Images

Dan James says his hard work has paid off after inspiring a Swansea comeback against Brentford in the FA Cup on Sunday.

The 21-year-old winger played a starring role as the Swans recovered from a goal down to book their place in the quarter-finals with a 4-1 win over 10-man Brentford.

The Bees controlled the first half to deservedly lead thanks to Ollie Watkins' 28th-minute strike but Swansea equalised through goalkeeper Luke Daniels' own goal before James, Bersant Celina and George Byers found their way onto the scoresheet.

Brentford's misery was completed by the dismissal of Ezri Konsa and a yellow card for manager Thomas Frank following a touchline altercation with Swansea striker Oli McBurnie.

It was an incredible turnaround and one which Wales winger James - who almost joined Leeds on transfer deadline day last month - was right at the heart of.

James won the free-kick which went in off the back of goalkeeper Daniels, while his searing pace took him 70 yards to blast Swansea 2-1 ahead and he was also involved as Konsa was sent off.

It was James’ third senior goal for the club.

I blocked the shot and I could just see about 50 or 60 yards of space. You don’t normally get that and normally you would just kick the ball away. But two or three seconds later I was in on goal and it was about me being composed at the end. I can say myself that I have not always been composed in positions like that this season.

That’s the ultimate goal and I have been working on it. It was about being composed and getting that finish, and thankfully I did. This is one of the best moments in my Swansea career, to come back the way we did."

– Dan James
Credit: PA Images

James' blistering pace even caught the eye of former Arsenal and Chelsea superstar Cesc Fabregas:

Swansea might be in turmoil off the pitch with long-time chairman Huw Jenkins having resigned earlier this month following a chaotic transfer window.

Jenkins could work with Swansea's American owners no longer, and the off-field problems at the Liberty Stadium had led to talk of fans boycotting this tie in protest at the way the club is being run.

Whether that was actually the case was unclear with the game being broadcast live on terrestrial television in Wales, but the crowd of 11,261 was nearly 4,000 down on Gillingham's visit in the previous round.