PAOLO Di Canio was delighted to see his Swindon Town players battle back to earn a point on what he deemed to be an “unplayable” pitch at Dean Court.
Andy Williams’ late strike helped Town to a share of the spoils on the Dorset coast, after Harry Arter had fired Bournemouth in front midway through the first period.
Torrential rain throughout the match left standing water on some areas of the playing surface, and the Somme-like conditions were hardly conducive to the attractive, free-flowing football both teams have developed a reputation for this season.
Given the circumstances, Di Canio was pleased with a draw although he felt his side deserved slightly more from the match.
“Once again I have to mark my attention to the performance. Obviously it is a fantastic point in an away game against one of the best sides, especially in this moment, in this league,” he said.
“The way we came back into the game at the end and tried to win made me more than happy; it made me proud because the lads were amazing. They did a fantastic job and we only have to carry on because today is an important signal for me.
“A few weeks ago we would have lost this game, especially against an important side, but they didn’t give up. I can tell you, because I went on the pitch, that is was an unplayable pitch.
“There’s a lot of mud and you sink in it but we showed quite good football for the condition of the pitch and we created a few chances. In terms of the occasion, we dominated in my opinion. They had a chance to go 2-0 up but it’s not possible not to concede chances against a team like Bournemouth.
“We got the point and we are there and now we have to keep going. At this stage of the season, if we can produce this kind of performance, on this surface, away from home, against Bournemouth from my point of view it’s a fantastic signal.
“It gives me the confirmation, if it was needed, that this is a group now.
“It’s the first time that we react, especially against a good side, with style, with quality and with determination.
“We truly deserved the point and maybe something more from this game.
“If we’re talking about a boxing match we deserved a bit more, maybe two points for us and one for them. My team did better, in my opinion, because of the difficulty, because we were away from home, because we were 1-0 down.
“It would be fair for there to be three points for us.”