Swansea City 0 Middlesbrough 0: We’ll gain confidence from this, says Boro’s Steve Agnew

Middlesbrough's Adama Traore tumbles to the floor under a challenge from Swansea City's Martin Olsson (Picture: David Davies/PA).
Middlesbrough's Adama Traore tumbles to the floor under a challenge from Swansea City's Martin Olsson (Picture: David Davies/PA).
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Swansea and Middlesbrough shared a goalless draw at the Liberty Stadium that does little to alleviate their respective Premier League relegation worries.

Hull City’s victory over West Ham on Saturday had left Swansea outside the drop zone only by virtue of them having a superior goal difference to the Tigers.

Middlesbrough’s position is ever more precarious – five points adrift of Swansea, albeit with a game in hand – and they might rue substitute Rudy Gestede failing to accept the best chance of the match in stoppage-time.

So a goalless draw, which highlighted the failings of both sides, will only serve to encourage the teams around them.

There was no shortage of endeavour or commitment, but neither team could provide a defining moment of quality.

Boro have another huge relegation clash on Wednesday when they travel to Hull and injured Gaston Ramirez and Fabio could both be doubts for that game after being forced off at the Liberty Stadium.

But interim manager Steve Agnew says his players will be encouraged by the nature of their performance.

“We came here to win and we’re disappointed we’ve not come away with the three points,” Agnew said.

“But the attitude and intensity of the players was there for all to see and that will hold us in good stead for Wednesday night.

“The players were a little bit flat initially when they came in after the game. But they will gain confidence and belief from the performance and we’ll take that in to Wednesday night. It’s good that the game comes round so soon.

“(Swansea) were a threat from set-pieces, but we were solid and we were dangerous when (Adama) Traore took the ball up the pitch and (Rudy) Gestede and (Alvaro) Negredo combined.

“It just didn’t quite drop for us in the box, but I saw lots of things we can take encouragement from.”

Swansea suffered a blow before kick-off when top scorer Fernando Llorente was ruled out with a calf problem. His absence hurt Swansea and boosted Boro in equal measure.

“It would have been harsh if we’d lost that game on the chances we created,” said Swansea manager Paul Clement.

Swansea City: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Fer, Cork, Carroll, Narsingh, Ayew, Sigurdsson. Unused substitutes: Ki, van der Hoorn, Borja Baston, Nordfeldt, Montero, Kingsley,McBurnie.

Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Bernardo, Gibson, Da Silva (Forshaw 65), Clayton, de Roon, Traore, Downing, Ramirez (Gestede 39), Negredo. Unused substitutes: Ayala, Leadbitter, Guzan, Stuani, Guedioura.

Referee: R Madley (West Yorkshire).