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Swansea City 1 v 1 Middlesbrough
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 23rd April 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Boro boss : The way Swansea play they always give you an opportunity
Sunday, 24th Apr 2022 12:35 by @Cornish67David & Keith Haynes

Chris Wilder is always impressed when he comes up against Swansea sides. And yesterday was no different, Wilder lavished praise on the development of the swans this season but also indicated there’s always an opportunity to score goals.

Speaking after the game yesterday Wilder, an experienced football manager with plenty of experience was very responsive to the Swansea City question this season. "I always believe when we play Swansea and they are in great nick and full of confidence, they do that [dominate] to everybody," said the Boro boss. "I don’t get fazed about possession – they have great players and they play in a way that suits the football club. I do think the way they play sometimes gives you an opportunity to create and punish. They've got good players and they're always a threat. It was always going to be a tight game. I always looked at this game when we looked at the run-in as a really difficult game, especially when Swansea were winning and had an incredible result in the South Wales derby and the results they've had."

Chris Wilder see’s promise in the way the swans play

Having seen his side hit the woodwork twice in the second half and be denied by Swansea keeper Andy Fisher on two occasions you would have expected him to bemoan the missed chances. However he chose not to but did say “They have a young manager and a young group of players. I read the article where Flynn Downes said they rightly want to finish on a high and build momentum going into next season," added Wilder. I never had the feeling that they were just seeing the season out and obviously we're not because we've got a hell of a lot to play for”

The last three Swansea City results have been draws against teams fighting to the bitter end in the championship. If not against relegation then for a play off position. It doesn’t end there with Bournemouth in town on Tuesday evening. Then on Saturday away to Nottingham Forest, so despite supporters mentioning the chances missed in those games the swans are now on an eight match unbeaten run.

Wilder knew this game wasn’t going to be a cake walk against a developing swans side determined to finish the season well. "I never had the feeling that they were just seeing the season out and obviously we're not because we've got a hell of a lot to play for. Kyle Naughton who I know from Sheffield United, he's had a brilliant career, dear me, he plays everywhere and it's difficult to deal with. When you've got Downes, Grimes, really technical players and you've got good pace, the centre-forwards are in decent nick, it's really difficult. I think when you do have those sort of chances that we’ve had, they aren’t half chances. I would expect nine times out of ten that Tav scores that one just after our goal, Dijksteel goes through and scores and Connolly too. They are huge chances.”

It was a terrific game yesterday which again displayed the contrasts in Swansea City’s organisation and then ability to react and change the games tempo. As this season has progressed the swans have at times disappointed some fans, but in the main there is a clear picture developing on where the team are heading next season.

On the game itself Wilder was disappointed but grateful his team created their goal well. “It could have gone either way. We’re a touch disappointed. I always believe when you play Swansea and they’re in great knick like they are with the results they’ve got and the way they’re playing, they do that to everybody. I don’t get fazed about their possession numbers because they play in a great way that really suits the football club. The way they play though, does sometimes give you the opportunity to knick it off them and create and punish. Especially second half, I thought we were a lot braver in how he played. I was disappointed in how we played first half with the ball. We were a little bit more adventurous though, a little bit more courageous with the ball and we stepped into them a little bit more. Whether Russell [Martin] will think our goal is through their mistake, I look at it and think we got our press right”

The result see’s Middlesbrough in eighth spot five points away from the play offs and the swans in fourteenth but only four points behind Boro. It’s an extremely tight championship, it was mentioned it is like that because it has poor teams competing in it. It was also mentioned yesterday that it’s a congested table as the league is so competitive and hard to predict.

You make your mind up.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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