'A good point, but we must be better'
Paul Clement declared himself happy with the result – but not the performance – as Swansea City claimed a valuable point at Southampton on the opening day of the new season.
The Swans were forced to dig deep at St Mary’s, where the Saints carved the majority of goalscoring opportunities.
But Clement’s men displayed hunger and commitment as they rolled their sleeves up to claim a welcome goalless draw.
“On reflection I am happy to be leaving with a point,” said the Swans manager.
“It was a hard afternoon for us. We suffered a lot. There were a lot of shots, a lot of set-plays to defend and Southampton had a lot more of the ball.
“You could say that I must be happy with the defending.
“I am happy with the defending in the defensive third because we got our blocks in, but if you are doing that it normally means there are some things which are not right further forward.
“Southampton got forward much more easily than we would have liked them to and we didn’t do well enough on the ball.
“I know Southampton will be desperately disappointed not to have won. They are probably scratching their heads wondering why they didn’t.”
Tammy Abraham came closest to scoring for the Swans when his first-half header sailed inches wide of the target.
The debutant also saw a shot blocked in the second period, while Leroy Fer’s half-volley had Fraser Forster beaten but arrowed wide.
But at the other end, Dusan Tadic, James Ward-Prowse and Maya Yoshida all missed big chances, while Manolo Gabbiadini’s header shaved the woodwork early on.
“I know that under similar circumstances last season, this team would have lost that game,” Clement added.
“We didn’t do that and we got a point. I am happy with the character, the doggedness and the determination we showed.
“Away from home in the Premier League, any point can be a positive.
“But as a coach you reflect on the performance and this performance wasn’t so good.
“There were lots of positives, of course, but there are also lots of things we have to work on.
“Southampton are a really good side, but there are some sides we will play this season who are even better than them, so we have to improve.”