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Swansea City 0 v 0 Hull City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 11th September 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea City v Hull City : Corny’s Friday night chat
Friday, 10th Sep 2021 17:52 by David Cornish

I’m pretty pleased the international break is over, I’ve never been one to enjoy these breaks as a rule. Admittedly the swans needed it after the Preston debacle, and that is exactly what it was, so hopefully the ten days of interaction with Russell Martin and his team will pay some dividends.

It also strikes me as unfair that despite Russell Martin stating on several occasions he is exceptionally happy with the support he has had from the clubs hierarchy that numerous swans fans continue to want to find issue with the club. The investment the swans have made has been carefully planned and the new players who came in, two on permanent signings and despite losing Connor Roberts and Jamal Lowe, for me it places the swans in a stronger position. Retaining Dan Williams and Morgan Whittaker also gives Martin far more choice in selection especially with the league cup game away at Brighton on the horizon.

Kyle Joseph scores for Cheltenham on his debut

Although I felt Kyle Joseph would have been far better placed to make a positive contribution to the side if he had stayed, and Liam Cullen had moved away on loan I suppose we can’t have it all. I’m really unsure about Liam, he does have a strikers instinct but where he played at Preston seemed all wrong to me, despite a lovely touch for Joel Piroe to score the first goal of the game.

As Martin said this morning, “ It’s about Intensity. Trying to get the guys to understand that everything is connected in and out of possession. Everything is built around one thing, and that's intensity. I think they've really got a grasp of it now. We stood back on Wednesday whilst watching training and I thought 'OK', the two teams that were going at each other were finally playing some football in the way that we want them to play," That’s great news, they want to show the manager they are learning, and that clearly now requires a far higher level of fitness than they are used to. It clicked at MK Dons after ten games last season, the way they finished the league was phenomenal. I suppose the main thing now is the ability to deliver this over ninety minutes, not forty five or twenty.

It’s a huge ask, even at Championship level, you are asking players to do things they are not used to generally. Plus the way the learning is implemented, described as ‘ Weird’ by new signing Jamie Paterson, the style of teaching and the way it is delivered will take some getting used to as well. Graham Potter was a strong advocate of this style of teaching, it also worked after ten or so games with the swans. However, Russell Martin has three very close allies in his camp who also learn from development and then implementing the information to improve. They know exactly what the boss is looking for and how he wants this done.

‘Full belief’ is what Hull manager Grant McCann has in his side

Grant McCann the current Hull City boss is very positive about tomorrow afternoons game. “For us, we’ve had a lot of important players missing over the past four or five games,” said McCann. As for Swansea, it’s a transitional period with a new manager going in there. I think both clubs will see an improvement after the international break. Hopefully it’s us that comes out on top on Saturday and their improvement comes after that. They got beat in the play-off final last year and there are probably only two or three players who have left, but they’ve replaced them. Russell (Martin) has got a way of playing which we saw last season at MK Dons. It’s a very unique way of playing and it takes time to work on it.”

The Tigers haven’t come up against the Swans since they met at the MKM Stadium in February 2020. The two sides played out an eight-goal thriller to draw 4-4 on that occasion, but McCann isn’t keen on a repeat of that scoreline. “I don’t think my heart could handle
it ! McCann commented. We understand that we’ve been a little bit goal shy over the last three or four games. We’ve got a lot of lads who are playing for the first time in the Championship. They are going to need time to adapt but we’ve got full belief that they will. We’ve also had injuries that haven’t helped us either.”

Both Martin and McCann will want to see vast improvement in their sides as the international break has no doubt assisted both of them to improve. The swans may be slight favourites for this game, and they really do need to put right their last home performance in the league to bed against Stoke City, where errors and a lack of unity on the pitch regarded Stoke with the points. It’s going to be an intriguing match up, and I for one am extremely excited about this game.

Photographs via Open Source

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