Ash hails defensive effort
27th October 2013
Ashley Williams praised Swansea City's solidity after claiming a clean sheet against West Ham in a stalemate at the Liberty.
The Swans shared the spoils as both sides failed to find a way to break the deadlock in a game played during torrential downpours.
West Ham created the better chances in the first half as Guy Demel and Mohamed Diame both went close while Angel Rangel cleared the danger near his own line after a cross squirmed off the gloves of Michel Vorm.
But the Swans fared better against West Ham's physical threat in the second half, and Michael Laudrup's side probed for a winner with Chico Flores and substitute Wilfried Bony being denied by Jussi Jaaskelainen.
And Williams believed the hosts' defensive effort in dealing with the Hammers' more direct approach was a big positive ahead of Sunday's derby clash with Cardiff City.
"They are one of the biggest teams in the league and set-pieces are massive for them, but we coped well," said the centre-back.
"We have tightened up a lot on set-pieces this season so it's pleasing to keep a clean sheet.
"In the first half we didn't play very well," he said. "We played to their strengths and they sat in and tried to get at us on the break.
"It was difficult to break them down but we did better in the second half and created more chances.
"We went close a few times - they did too - and both teams will have to be happy with a point."
Another positive to come from the stalemate, which moved the Swans up to 9th, was Williams' return from an ankle injury.
He captained the side as he made his first appearance since the win at Crystal Palace over a month ago.
And he was pleased to have got 90 minutes under his belt ahead of Sunday's trip down the M4.
"It's nice to be back - I've trained all week and it was nice to get back on the pitch," added Williams.
"I was really pleased to get a game under my belt. I didn't want to go into the Cardiff game without a game behind me, so the 90 minutes against West Ham will stand me in good stead."
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