Michael Duff praises Swansea spirit as his 10 men earn point against Sunderland
Swansea manager Michael Duff praised the spirit of his players after they hung on for a 0-0 draw with 10 men against Sunderland.
A 30th-minute red card for midfielder Charlie Patino forced the Swans to launch a grim defensive operation.
And despite a second-half Sunderland onslaught, the hosts kept the ball out of their net to earn a gritty point.
It might even have been more had striker Jamal Lowe not seen his penalty saved on the stroke of half-time.
Duff said: “I thought we were magnificent. I think anything that could have gone against us went against us.
“But we played 75 minutes with 10 men against one of the best teams in the league.
“Until the red card we weren’t good enough with the ball, but I want to talk about the spirit, people putting their bodies on the line and giving everything for the shirt.
“And we had the best chance of the game! But that went against us.
“We have talked about togetherness a lot, in the last few weeks, and that proves it.
“They are together.
“We have had a difficult start, so much change in the football club, but the one constant has been the togetherness.
“Supporters want to see that commitment. Any supporter will forgive mistakes if they see players give absolutely everything for the shirt.”
Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray criticised his team’s wastefulness.
It was one-way traffic after Patino left the fray, but the visitors could not find the net despite a glut of territory and possession.
Mowbray said: “We have to score, it’s no good looking at possession stats.
“We have inexperienced strikers and invariably goals are coming from others.
“It was just a frustrating day, we looked like we didn’t know how to score.
“You have to manage the game at the top end of the field.
“Credit to them, they worked hard and defended well, they blocked it and got their bodies in the way.
“But I’m disappointed we couldn’t put the ball in the net.”
Meanwhile, Duff refused to criticise Patino, saying: “We all go through it, it’s part of his learning.
“I don’t think either was a yellow card, but we’ll go through it with him.
“It’s now an opportunity for someone else to come into the team and if they step up he might lose his place.
“But he has been good with us, he has kept his ego in check and doesn’t get ahead of himself.
“If someone writes something nice about him, he doesn’t think he’s made it.
“He will feel like he has let the team down, but he hasn’t. He just made a couple of mistakes.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.