Cameron Toshack was immensely proud of the character shown by Swansea City Under-23s despite a late Brighton equaliser leaving their survival hopes hanging by a thread.
The young Swans appeared on course to take all three points as they recovered from 1-0 down with goals from Ben Cabango and Adam King putting them 2-1 up in the 90th minute on at the Amex Stadium – only to concede a stoppage-time leveller to Viktor Gyokeres as the contest ended 2-2.
The result leaves the under-23s six points from safety with just two league games remaining, which means they must win both and hope for favours from elsewhere to survive in the top flight of development football.
Nevertheless, Toshack insists he could not fault the effort and professionalism of his players over the 90 minutes.
“When a group give everything they’ve got, you can’t ask for any more. To a man, that’s exactly what they did,” the under-23s' coach said.
“Brighton have a superb and well-funded academy and we knew it would be difficult, so it shows real character that we scored two goals in the last few minutes
“With 25 minutes to go, we gave them a couple of different ideas by changing the system and making two substitutions. From that moment on, we dominated the game and were unfortunate not to score one or two more.
“But that’s the way football is. It can kick you in the teeth at times and our young men do feel a little hard done by tonight.
“In the end, it didn’t play out exactly as we would’ve wanted but, to be fair to the players, every single one of them gave everything they had.
“I’m very proud of each of them because they represented Swansea City very well tonight.”
The Swans still have plenty to play for this season. Their league campaign concludes with showdowns against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, while they will also face Everton or Blackburn Rovers in the semi-finals of the Premier League Cup.
And Toshack believes the squad should be very proud of their achievements.
“We still have two league games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City to look forward to,” he added.
“As a football club and an academy, we should be delighted that we’re still in there fighting with these elite sides. We’ll be professional and try to produce worthy performances.
“We’ve also got a Premier League Cup semi-final coming up. We’re reached this stage of the competition in each of the last three years, so that’s something for people to recognise and celebrate.”