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Rodgers hails Swans striker Graham

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers insisted he always believed in Danny Graham after seeing the striker open his account for the club in yesterday's 2-0 win over Stoke.

The 26-year-old joined the Swans from Watford for a club-record fee of £3.5m in the summer, but had failed to find the net during their opening half-dozen Premier League fixtures.

The Middlesbrough product had failed to convert several chances in the home games against Wigan and Sunderland, and briefly lost his place to Leroy Lita after picking up a back problem.

But Rodgers kept faith with his man and was rewarded for bringing him back into his starting XI as Graham got the better of Jonathan Woodgate before coolly lifting the ball over Asmir Begovic to clinch a Liberty Stadium victory that maintained Swansea's unbeaten home record and moved them up to 10th in the table.

"He has been outstanding since he has come in," said Rodgers. "In the games he has played his movement has been great and he has linked the game well.

"When he gets a chance, nine times out of 10 he will put it away, and he got a great ovation at the end which he thoroughly deserved."

Swansea's opener came courtesy of Scott Sinclair's second penalty of the season, after Ryan Shawcross had clumsily challenged Wayne Routledge in the box in the 10th minute.

And Stoke boss Tony Pulis admitted that early setback had left his side facing an uphill struggle.

He said: "Ryan's challenge was a poor one and they got the start every team in the Premier League wants. It lifted them."