In a match full of incident and drama, Bobby Madley’s decision to send Swans midfielder Charlie Patino fortuitously off for a second bookable offense in the 30th minute could have proven to be a game-changer, but the Swans showed spirit and desire to earn a share of the spoils.
The Mackems would go on to have long spells of possession and would bring the best out of home goalkeeper Carl Rushworth, whilst Tony Mowbray’s play-off chasing side would also hit the woodwork on four occasions.
The Swans had few chances but would be present with a golden opportunity to register themselves on the scoresheet via the penalty spot in first-half stoppage-time.
Jamaican international Jamal Lowe, however, would not be able to beat visiting shot-stopper Anthony Paterson, with the Swans perhaps wondering what could have been.
Despite a day where the Swans boss felt his side didn’t have the rub of the green with decisions, it would be the resolve, determination and togetherness that Duff often talks about that would be the most pleasing part of the display.
“I thought we were magnificent. I think anything that could have gone against us today did,” said Duff.
“I think I’ll be walking out the stadium today with the supporters happy. We played 70 minutes with ten men against one of the best teams in the league.
“The first 20 minutes or so until the red card we weren’t good enough with the ball, but I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about the spirit.
“We’ve talked about togetherness a lot in the last few weeks. People put their bodies on the line and gave everything for the shirt.
“They had 24 shots of which ten were blocked. When they did breach that backline Carl [Rushworth] made two or three really good saves. He’s a good goalkeeper.
“The pleasing thing from our point of view is that he is only making two or three saves, not save after save. Ultimately, numbers will tell you then one will go in.
“When he was called upon today, he made big saves in big moments of the game. Amongst a few others he was outstanding today.”
The Swans boss would be quick to dismiss singling out Lowe or Patino for criticism, focusing on the positives of the performance.
“Every supporter will forgive mistakes if they see players giving everything for the shirt. That is one thing they have done today,” continued Duff.
“Centre forwards miss open goals and miss penalties; centre halves score own goals and goalkeepers make mistakes that lead to goals.
“If your mates fight like that to get you out of a hole it shows togetherness. Jamal [Lowe] did the same, he didn’t sulk, he ran right to the end.
“It’s a taking point because he missed, when he scored the other week no one talked about it. There’s a reason why he is the penalty taker, and the lads think he is as well.
“It’s his technique and when you miss, you leave yourself open, but it is what it is. It is disappointing but it didn’t cost us the game.
“Well go through it [Patino’s red card], it is part of his learning. We’ll go through it with him and talk to him, showing him a few clips. It’s now an opportunity for someone else to come into the team to step up.
“He has been good though has Charlie, he knows where he wants to be and is prepared to work every day to get there.
“He’ll feel like he has let the team down, but he hasn’t. He’s made a couple of mistakes, it happens.
“We’ve had a difficult start and there’s been so much change around the football club. The one consistency though has been the togetherness.
“We will take the point and take the positives that come out of the game.”
[Lead image: Swansea City FC]
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