Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal was left "very happy" with his side's performance as they drew 0-0 with fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon at the John Smith's Stadium despite only having 10 men.
The key moment of the game came after just 11 minutes as referee Michael Oliver decided to dismiss Swans forward Jordan Ayew following a strong challenge on Jonathan Hogg. This put the away side on the back foot for the remainder of the match but they were able to remain resolute at the back and claim what could be a vital point in their quest for Premier League survival.
Carvalhal was left delighted with the character shown by his players and believes that this result is a very good one considering the circumstances.
He said: "It was a massive point. If before the game it was a good point, after the game it was massive because of the circumstances of the game. We achieved one point because my players showed character."
He added: "It is not easy to play agasint them. We prepared the team with two attackers (Jordan and Andre Ayew) because Huddersfield are very strong when they lose the ball."
A change of plan early on
Carvalhal would have been preparing his side all week for this game, only for his game plan to go out of the window so early on. He opted to start with two forwards but realised this would leave them too open with ten men so opted to set-up slightly more defensively following the red card.
He said: "When we lost Jordan I had the feeling that it would be very difficult to attack because we do not have breach to go to attack. The importance of the game made us defend with quality. Not just defending with all the players at the back. We showed quality in the way we defended."
He added: "At the end we achieve one point against a team that did a lot to achieve the three points. We did a lot because we fight and we show character to achieve one point."
Carvalhal disagrees with red card
The key talking point following the match was the dismissal of Jordan Ayew after just 11 minutes. It completely changed the complexity of the match and forced the away side to be more defensive. Carvalhal felt that it was a 50/50 challenge and was not a red card offence.
He said: "It was in front of me and I usually do not talk about decisions from the referee. I saw a situation that to me was not a red card. The referee does not have the opportunity to see the video."
He added: "What my player did and the player of Huddersfield did, exactly the same position, you will see on the video. It should have been a red card to both players or no red card at all. The pitch was slippery. I must respect the decision."
Carvalhal felt that the fourth official, Jonathan Moss, had a key role to play in the decision and may have heavily influenced the thoughts of referee Oliver following a conversation the pair had right in front of the dugouts.
He said: "I think it was the fourth official that gave information to the referee for the red card. I am not saying I am wrong or correct but my view is that was two players fighting very hard for the ball in the same position."
Tastes just as good as three points
Carvalhal and his players celebrated as if they had won the game at full-time with their travelling support and the Portuguese manager stated in his post-match press conference that it felt like a win.
He said: "I know the Huddersfield team. I know what they can do with the ball. We missed the breach to go to the attack and I knew in that moment that it would be very difficult. It is one point that tastes as good as three points."
The Swans boss also revealed that they may yet appeal Ayew's red card following further analysis: "Let us see if we have reasons or not to appeal. If Jordan will not play, we will play with another player."
When questioned on whether the Swans would miss the 26-year-old forward, who has been influential in their resurgence in recent weeks, Carvalhal believes his squad can deal with it, as they have done when other key squad members have been ruled out.
He explained how the likes of Leroy Fer, Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony have all been missing recently but his side are "still playing, still winning and still fighting". Tammy Abraham was introduced off the bench in the second-half and he is likely to return to the starting line-up if Jordan Ayew remains suspended.
He said: "They give opera to us. They give opera to us and we must listen to opera a long, long time. It looked like opera which is why we win an epic point. They put absolutely the music."
The Swans have a break from Premier League action next weekend as they return to the Liberty Stadium to face Tottenham Hotspur in their FA Cup quarter-final encounter.