|Swansea City 1 v 0 Huddersfield Town|
Saturday, 25th September 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Russell Martin “I’ve waited so long for this moment “
Sunday, 26th Sep 2021 09:00 by Keith Haynes
Russell Martin was delighted that his swans side got all three points at the swansea.com stadium yesterday afternoon that he couldn’t stop himself joining in the celebrations at the end of the game.
On reflection Martin was calm but delighted to collect the three points against a side that had impressed twice away from home this season. The visitors In seventh place after a decent start, this game wasn't going to be easy. “It was tense second half, probably a bit more tense than it needed to be,” he said. “I think the first half was outstanding, it really was, in terms of some of the football we played, the intensity we played at and the way we pressed in terms of how many times we won the ball back. “They are a side who are excellent and are based off real intensity and you could see that they are conditioned to play that way over the 90 minutes”
Russell Martin wasn’t wrong, his sides first half domination looked pretty pointless as Huddersfield pressed the swans in the second half. The one goal that won the game came from a sublime move after several chances were squandered. “We should score more goals in the first half, we had some great chances and if we take those the second half becomes a lot easier and everyone can enjoy it and relax a little more” There was no way that the second half would be a repeat of the first, and it seemed to stun the swans as they failed to get in to the flow of the game for the second forty five. “We still had the better moments in the second half, said Martin, we have limited a good side to no shots on target, something we spoke about before the game and the players have shown outstanding effort and desire. “It is coming, once we are really well conditioned to how we want to play, then you will hopefully see that first-half performance for longer periods”
Ryan Manning really did shine against Huddersfield
The statement that the swans had the better of the second half isn’t as accurate as Martin points out, however, the hard work of the likes of Flynn Downes and Ryan Manning certainly did keep the terriers at bay. Piroe tired drastically in the second half as did Olivier Ntcham, and both were rightly subbed. The swans boss added, “We had been frustrated not to win the two previous home games as I felt we deserved to, but we got what we deserved today and hopefully that will relax a few of the players and we can keep improving from here. “We knew it was coming, we knew this was a tough game so I am pleased it has come because the players deserve it. “It was great to celebrate with the fans, I have been waiting a long time to do that. The players did their part. “But I have said all the way along – and I truly mean it – the support we have had has been incredible. You look at the numbers who went to Brighton on Wednesday, to make that trip in the middle of a week”
It’s been a long haul for Russell Martin and his coaching team, despite some very impressive performances at Bristol City and last week at Brighton the swans faithful haven’t seen a Martin team dominate like it did today in the first half. “The guys at Luton gave us so much energy. Today they stuck with us even if it was tense and nervous late on. “But they stuck with us because I think they understand what is going on, the transition we have made and how much change is happening. “We are trying to bring them back something which they were very proud of for a very long time. “Hopefully we are on the way to doing it, although we know there is a lot of hard work to go.”
Flynn Downes would have been close to winning the man of the match award for many swans fans, his relentless running and anticipation in the tackle was incredibly impressive. “Flynn was incredible, it’s difficult to single people out, but he does the dirty work perfectly well," Martin said. “He enables other people to do their roles brilliantly, he knows exactly what his role in the team is. “Kyle Naughton and the guys at the back appreciate him a lot, I know I would have if I had him playing in front of me. “He has an excellent willingness to learn, his attitude, his attention to detail and how quickly he learns is outstanding. “He’s playing in a completely different role to what he used to play at his previous club, as most of the guys are. “His desire to win and athleticism, with his increasing and improving technical ability, shows how much he wants to work. “That’s the point of playing him in this way, it’s the best way to improve players, it really is.”
Flynn Downes impressed the swans boss for his adaptability on Saturday
It really was a tactical thumbs up for Russell Martin yesterday, what we really need to see now is his faith and loyalty pay off in what will be the toughest game of the season away to Fulham on Wednesday night.
Photographs Swansea City AFC
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