We grafted our arses off
We might’ve only taken a point from the game, but it wasn’t for the want of trying.
It’s easy to slag the team off when they’ve failed to beat ten men, but I can’t really think of anything else they could’ve done to try and score a goal - it just wasn’t our day.
They’ll be absolutely gutted they couldn’t find the back of the net because we threw everything at Swansea, and but for the crossbar and their goalkeeper, we might’ve won it.
Ekwah back in the groove
Whilst I’m still not convinced that Pierre Ekwah is fully fit, he’s slowly but surely getting back to the level he was playing at before his injury.
He’s brilliant in that role as the deep lying playmaker, spraying the ball around, and it was his superb body movement which led to Charlie Patino receiving his second yellow card.
I see traits in Ekwah’s play which are the sort you see in the very top level midfielders, and I’m excited to see how much more he improves over the coming months.
Just not clinical enough
Twenty-odd shots and no goals.
While we did absolutely everything but score, it’s the fact we didn’t which rankles. When people are seemingly stuck on the fact none of our strikers have managed to score this season, it really does highlight the fact when we emerge goalless from a game we probably should’ve won.
Nazariy Rusyn played really well but missed his one big chance. It’ll come, but it needs to come soon for one of our centre forwards.
Look out, Luke!
I think teams have worked out that Luke O’Nien gets a bit handy on set pieces, and after yesterday, I imagine we’re going to have people flinging themselves all over when around him on corner kicks.
He has nobody to blame but himself for the penalty he gave away though, because that was just daft.
Anthony Gair says...
Some good attacking play
What a strange game of football that was.
Swansea couldn’t deal with our passing and movement, particularly before their sending off.
We were better than them for the entire game and the fact that we didn’t score doesn’t kill my optimism. On any other day, we score four or five goals quite easily.
Every time Swansea tried to put a few passes together, the ball was intercepted or taken from them.
Yes, Luke O’Nien gave away the penalty by roughhousing (and it was a penalty, by the way) but we were very comfortable at the back for the remainder of the game.
Anthony Patterson’s penalty save and clean sheet were well deserved too. He didn’t have much to do but when he did, he kept his concentration and remained sturdy.
A lack of cutting edge
During the week, we had a chat about whether Sunderland were a viable threat without a striker who scores goals.
I said at the time that we’re fine as long as the other players are scoring - and they didn’t yesterday, so the naysayers are going to be out in force now, saying we need to fork out on a striker in the New Year.
However, I’ll tell you now that we don’t need to, because without their keeper, they lose that game 5-0, easily.
Jack Clarke, Patrick Roberts and Nazariy Rusyn could’ve been more composed with their chances but there’s no need to panic. We’ll be absolutely fine.
Tony Mowbray made some substitutions quite early in the second half, but brought off our most potent and proven threat in Jobe and replaced him with Bradley Dack. I haven’t a clue why and I’m praying he’s not injured.
Rusyn was also doing OK although was rather pointless in the first ten minutes of the second half, when he gets fitter, he’ll be some player.
Hemir also came on and was largely anonymous, which isn’t necessarily his fault as Swansea were defending with ten men in the box, but the gaffer’s decision making can’t go unnoticed.
All in all, a strange old game. We should’ve won but we didn’t, and we roll on.
Kelvin Beattie says...
I had to follow the game with Barnsey & Benno, and it seemed like we were in control long before the red card, with Pierre Ekwah, Jack Clarke and Patrick Roberts coming to the fore.
The statistics of twenty five shots and 72% possession certainly back up the view that we probably would’ve won this game nine times out of ten, and it appeared that there were a number of blocked shots as the Swansea players threw their bodies at everything.
Two off the bar and two very good saves from their keeper. It could’ve been 4-0 but it wasn’t our day and we take a point from a venue that historically we don’t always do well at.
Patto saves the day
Anthony Patterson deserves plenty of plaudits, given the way the game went.
He made a good save in the first half too, but was hardly in the action until the penalty, so well done bonny lad! We couldn’t win the game but you made sure we at least went home with a point.
Grappling with Luke
I really like most of what Luke O’Nien does on the pitch (and off it) but I highlighted his grappling at corners and free kicks on this platform after the Cardiff game, so I can only guess he hasn’t been listening to me.
By all accounts, he should’ve been booked long before he was, and the penalty might have lost us the match!
He needs to stop the risky grappling and just concentrate on getting his foot in and putting his body on the line, which we all love to see.
Defensive concerns for Birmingham
The suspension of our two starting centre backs for our next home game creates a real test for the squad and our crowd.
Tony Mowbray and his team need to earn their money this week by working out the formation and personnel for Birmingham.
We need to get right behind the Lads that come in and not get on their backs if things are tight or not going well. We’re supporters, so let's support!
Malc Dugdale says...
A point away from home
We could’ve lost despite all our dominance, especially after our skipper gave away a penalty, and only a fine save from Anthony Patterson prevented that from being the case.
Four points from two games after losing a few in a row is decent, and on any other day we would’ve had six.
Another good run out for Rusyn
Though he probably should’ve taken his best chance but slipped and put it wide, Nazariy Rusyn had a decent game.
We looked way better with him on the pitch, and I was disappointed when he was hooked before the hour.
His goals will come soon I’m sure, and he deserves to keep the starting striker’s berth.
Two points dropped
That really was a game we should’ve won and not converting a one man advantage for an hour or more is very disappointing.
We hit the woodwork more than once but really struggled to break Swansea down when they had a man less.
I almost wish it had stayed as eleven versus eleven, as we looked better before the red card. Hopefully we don’t rue those two points at the end of the season.
I was pretty disappointed with the use of our substitutes yesterday, as it felt like we were just throwing bodies into the game without any real plan.
For me, Adil Aouchiche should’ve got game time before the likes of Bradley Dack, and pulling the likes of Dan Neil and Jobe when they can create chances others can’t seemed odd.
Hopefully we do more work on our attacking approaches and that final ball, because if we’d been as on song as we can be, we could’ve put six or more past a very average Swansea side.