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My Players Have Not Downed Tools, Says Swansea City Boss Michael Duff

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By David Parsons

Michael Duff insists the fact that his Swansea City players scored a 94th minute equaliser against Huddersfield proves they “have not downed tools”.

It may appear as a straw being clutched, but without Charlie Patino’s injury-time leveller to earn a 1-1 Championship draw with their fellow strugglers, it would have been much worse for the Swans.

As it is, the manager and his players were booed off at the end following their fifth match without a win and their fifth home game without a victory as well.

“The positives were they kept going, the subs impacted the game, we scored in the 94th minute so the lads haven’t downed tools and started blaming everyone else,” said Duff.

“To be fair to the supporters, they came with them as well in the second half. Obviously, there’s emotion at the end because it’s frustration.”

The Terriers looked on course for back-to-back wins for the first time under Darren Moore after defender Ben Cabango turned into his own net from Jaheim Headley’s cross in the third minute.

The Swans dominated after that early setback and created numerous openings – with Jay Fulton, Yannick Bolasie, Harry Darling and Cabango among those to have chances.

And Arsenal loanee Patino slotted home in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage-time to nick the Swans a point in dramatic fashion.
That did not stop the boos at the final whistle, a reaction that Duff took on the chin.

His team are now in 18th place, just five points above the relegation zone – a gap that has narrowed as QPR, in 22nd place, have managed back-to-back victories.

Duff added: “They (fans) are showing their frustration. I think in the cold light of day, they’ve watched the same game as us.

“We haven’t won enough games at home, we get that. I can make all the excuses in the world but you have to win. That’s part of my job.

“You get clapped when you win and you get booed when you don’t. It is what it is.

“We dominated the game, there’s no doubt about that. If we play that game 10 times, I think we win nine with the numbers we had in terms of possession, shots, opportunities – everything.

“We talked in the week about giving poor goals away and they have done nothing to score a goal. That makes it doubly difficult. But we have had ample opportunities to go and win the game.”

The Terriers made a dream start as Headley capitalised on Matt Grimes’ error before charging up the left flank and his somewhat speculative cross was turned into his own net by Cabango.

Duff made a triple change at the break, with Bolasie replacing Liam Cullen to make his home debut, while Jerry Yates and Darling came on for Bashir Humphreys and Kyle Naughton respectively.

Duff could have been forgiven for fearing the worst when Matty Pearson was fortunate not to turn Jamal Lowe’s cross into his own goal, and Bolasie’s drilled effort was then deflected wide.

But Swansea broke Huddersfield hearts in added time as Patino coolly slotted the ball beyond Maxwell to make it 1-1.

Huddersfield manager Darren Moore said: “What I am pleased with, over the three games this week after the international break, to take five points against the calibre of teams we’ve played, taking into consideration the travel, then I’ve got to be pleased.

“I said to the boys two weeks ago, the work we did in the international break, this will carry you through the next three games. It shows the work we’ve done as a group and it shows we’re heading in the right direction.

“Performances have been more solid and resolute. They’re staying in the game longer and being harder to beat.

“We know we’re still short in areas. We know there’s a progress going on at the moment at the football club, both on and off the pitch.

“We need to keep focused and keep churning away and getting those points on the board. It would have been great to take the three points today but when we look at the course of the week, to take five points out of those games is credit to the team.”

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