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Swans Just A Point Off Relegation Places

Leroy Fer of Swansea City shoots while under pressure from Marten de Roon (L) and Ben Gibson (R) during the match between Swansea City and Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium

Swansea boss Paul Clement says it feels like they missed an opportunity in drawing nil-nil with fellow Premier League strugglers Middlesbrough.

The result took them a point clear of the relegation places.

There were chances at both ends, with Martin Olsson, Jordan Ayew, Tom Carroll, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alfie Mawson all having efforts on goal for the Swans.

Boro’s threat was only occasional, although they did miss a golden opportunity to snatch victory in stoppage time when Rudy Gestede headed wide from point-blank range.

A defeat would have been difficult to swallow for the Swans, who were frustrated enough with the first draw of Clement’s reign.

“It feels a little bit like a missed opportunity,” Clement conceded.

“We wanted to win the game. We pushed and pushed but we were missing something in the final third – a quality ball or sometimes that bit of luck when a ball drops in the right place, or maybe a player arriving for one of our deliveries at the right time.

“We got a lot of crosses into the box and Middlesbrough defended the box well. 

“It was a big physical effort from us but we just couldn’t get over the line.

“We are disappointed because the objective was to win. I think there was some nervousness from both sets of players and the supporters, but that’s normal – there’s a lot at stake.

“We have to deal with that pressure. We have eight more games – lots of opportunities to pick up valuable points – and why not on Wednesday night against Spurs?

“There is tension in every game at the moment because things can change very quickly for teams. They can go downhill or they can go up, and we are now looking for an upturn.”

The Boro stalemate leaves the Swans just a point above the Premier League relegation zone after Hull’s win over West Ham.

The Swans host high-flying Spurs next before taking on the Hammers at the London Stadium next weekend.

Clement hopes Fernando Llorente will be back in action in time for the Spurs game, although there are no guarantees that the Spaniard will be fit.

Llorente missed the Boro game with an ankle injury and will be monitored ahead of Wednesday’s return to action.

“We missed Fernando – he is a big focal point for us,” Clement added.

“That is not to say Jordan Ayew did not play well. He gave us another dynamic that Fernando doesn’t have.

“But of course Fernando is a miss. He has an ankle issue that I am hoping will not keep him out for long. Wednesday is achievable, although he is still a doubt for that game.

“He has a chance, but we are very much looking at him day to day.”

Though there was frustration over the Swans’ failure to win, Clement took heart from the desire his players showed against Boro.

“We have to win games and we haven’t done that in the last three,” he said.

“We are disappointed about that, but we have put a point on the board today and we will have to see if that is really valuable or not enough at the end of the season.

“I feel positive about the attitude of the players. They gave it everything and we have to move on to a very big game against Spurs.”

Clement felt the Swans might have been awarded a penalty when Sigurdsson’s late free-kick hit a Boro hand.

“I didn’t see it at the time, but I have watched it back and it clearly hits the arm in an unnatural position,” he said.

“When you see it again, it could have been a penalty.”

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