Swansea City: Alan Curtis praises 'brilliant' Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams joined Swansea from Stockport in 2008

Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis praised "absolutely brilliant" captain Ashley Williams after the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Williams, 31, was at the heart of a solid defensive display as the Swans picked up their fifth point in three Premier League matches.

Newcastle's loss sees Swansea stay two points clear of the relegation zone.

"He's been the rock of the side for any amount of seasons, but I thought Ashley was outstanding," said Curtis.

"I thought he was absolutely brilliant.

"But I thought [defender] Neil Taylor was excellent as well, and I thought [goalkeeper] Lukasz Fabianski was excellent.

"It was a really good performance, probably more defensive than attacking-wise, but Ashley epitomised the spirit of the team."

Lukasz Fabianski saves from Brede Hangaland
Lukasz Fabianski pulled off good saves from Bede Hangeland and Patrick Bamford

Happy with the changes

Curtis, 61, made eight changes from the side which beat West Brom 1-0 on Boxing Day, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ki Sung-yueng on the bench.

The former Wales international, who was taking charge of the team for the fourth time since the departure of Garry Monk, praised the players he brought in.

"We made a few more than we wanted because of little niggles and the need to rest players," added Curtis.

"But the players who came in were excellent.

"We knew they would tire at the end, Jordi's [Amat] calves were screaming at the end there."

Alan Curtis
Alan Curtis played more than 350 games for Swansea during his playing career

Enjoying the experience

Palace have been in impressive form and are 12 places ahead of Swansea in the table, so Curtis was happy with the result.

"It was an excellent point against a very good team," he said.

"We knew it was going to be difficult and they showed today why they are where they are in the table."

There is still no sign of a replacement for Monk, and Curtis admits he is enjoying the experience of taking the team.

"We've got a run of results and it's terrific," he added.

"But as I said to Alan Pardew at the end of the game [I'm amazed] how he's managed to keep going this long as a manager.

"It's been just over two weeks for me - my voice has gone, my looks have gone, hair's starting to go.

"I'm not quite sure how they do it, but it's been terrific so far and all credit not only to the players but also the staff are around me as well."