Garry Monk felt Wednesday restored some pride in the 1-0 FA Cup exit to Manchester City at Hillsborough on Wednesday evening.
The Premier League champions totally dominated the fifth round tie, having 20 efforts and nine on target, while we managed just one shot in the 90 minutes – a long-ranger from Jacob Murphy early in the first half – that was off target.
However, after seeing City triumph thanks to a Sergio Aguero strike just after half time that Monk thought was offside, the manager said: “We wanted to come away with confidence from today. Man City are an excellent side but the key was to come away proud of our team and we can do that.
“I think overall we have to be pleased, we put a huge amount of effort in and we had to be focused. Credit to the players for the effort and focus, We needed to push more at the end but there were some tired legs out there”
Monk described Wildsmith’s performance as “fantastic” and said of Hunt: “I thought Alex was very good. He has a big future and he’s the type of lad who can go a long way.”
We defended solidly, with Dominic Iorfa outstanding, but the nearest we got to a shot on target came 10 minutes from time when Steven Fletcher just failed to get to a quality low cross from Hunt at the far post.
City struck the woodwork in either half through Nicolas Otamendi and Benjamin Mendy but they failed to have a shot on target in the first half and a combination of missed chances and some decent stops from Wildsmith kept the final score at 1-0.
For Wednesday, the hope will be that restricting City to one goal gives us a much-needed confidence boost for the rest of the season, particularly at the back where we have looked suspect, to say the least, in recent weeks.
Wildsmith, Palmer, Iorfa, Börner (Lees 46), Fox, Murphy, Bannan, Lee (Hunt 63), Pelupessy, Da Cruz, Forestieri (Fletcher 56).Unused subs. Dawson, Urhoghide, Harris. Nuhiu, Att: 20,995.