Swansea City head coach Paul Clement sensed an opportunity missed in the fight against relegation following a 0-0 draw with fellow strugglers Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium.
The hosts had the better of a forgettable contest until substitute Rudy Gestede spurned Boro’s clearest opening in stoppage time, the result edging Swansea a point clear of third-bottom Hull City.
Nevertheless, the chance to move further away from the drop zone was there for the taking, with visiting goalkeeper Victor Valdes made to work for his clean sheet by denying Jordan Ayew and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
“Any point you get is valuable but we are disappointed not to win the game,” Clement said, as quoted by BBC Sport.
“They had a big chance at the end but they didn’t have an attempt on target in the whole game so a defeat would have been harsh.
“You never know how valuable that point could be. It is tight at the bottom, there are eight games to go and we remain very positive.
“The players have been brilliant for me, they have executed the plan well but Middlesbrough defended very well and we couldn’t get over the line.
“We lacked a bit in the final third. We peppered their box with set pieces but we couldn’t find a way through.
“We got a point, we wanted more, we move on to the next game.”
Steve Agnew was able to reflect on a first point in his second game since taking over from Aitor Karanka at Middlesbrough.
Agnew hailed his team’s fighting spirit but Gestede’s miss – the ex-Aston Villa man has now gone 39 Premier League games without victory – understandably lingered.
“You could see that the fight is there. The spirit is terrific,” he said, as quoted by BBC Sport.
“Swansea have been in the Premier League for seven years, and this is our first season [back]. It was difficult for us to sustain attacks but we kept going right to the end.
“You’d expect Rudy Gestede to score at the end but when the next chance comes I’m sure he will. It’s another point and we will regroup.”