Russell Martin | We responded well and had the chances to win it

23rd April
First team
Russell Martin shouts messages to the players during Middlesbrough match

Russell Martin praised his Swansea City players for the response they showed to fightback and earn a point against Middlesbrough, and felt they had the chances to win a breathless encounter.

After dominating territory and possession during the opening half, the hosts fell behind to Riley McGree’s strike from distance moments into the second half at the Stadium.

But they responded immediately through Michael Obafemi’s 11th goal of the season at the outset of a frantic 45 minutes of football which could have easily ended with either side claiming all three points.

Both sides struck the woodwork amidst the end-to-end action but it ended level as the Swans extended their unbeaten run to eight games.

And head coach Martin was pleased with how his side responded to the setback, and the mentality they showed against a Boro side with everything to play for in the play-off hunt.

“I thought it was a really high level game,” said the Swans boss.

“I really liked us in the first half, we had so much dominance and so much control. But the next bit for us is making more of that.

“We had a situation at the end of the first half where we score if Michael is in the right position. We had some really good moments, we just lacked a bit of composure and quality in that last bit.

“We start the second half with an uncharacteristic mistake, but that happens and that is on me, and not on the players because we know how incredible Matt Grimes has been.

Close up photo of Russell Martin - Middlesbrough

“The way we reacted was incredible, and I am grateful to the players for how they reacted.

“The game came to life from there, it was 1-1, the atmosphere shot up and we struggled to deal with how open it became.

“We got caught up in the emotion of it and it just became far too open. It was end to end, we had a chance, then they had a chance. It was scary stuff.

“But we regained composure and control, but I think they had too many chances. We will learn from that, I think it came from a bit of tiredness, a bit of sloppiness.

“Most of the chances came from them pressing well and us not being as clean in the detail as we had been in the first half.

“They brought on two guys in the final part of the pitch to add more energy, which changed the dynamic a bit for us.

“But the next step for us is maintaining that first half performance for the whole game.

“We had some brilliant chances to win it. I am sure Chris Wilder will feel his team could have won it, and I feel the same, but it is a good point against a team battling to get into the play-offs and another sign of how far we have come in terms of mentality.”