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Derby County 0 v 0 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 2nd October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Today is about progression for Swansea City at Derby, success will come much later
Saturday, 2nd Oct 2021 10:30 by Keith Haynes

Once again well in excess of 1,000 Swansea City supporters will cover hundreds of miles to support their team today. As they did at Fulham on Wednesday the Jack Army will as ever shout their support for their team in a high profile Championship fixture.

A resurgent Derby County battling against league sanctions and financial instability will host the swans at Pride Park today with a 3pm kick off. With a number of players unavailable the swans will once again stick to their ‘total football’ plan as they go in search of their second away win of the season. Olivier Ntcham will not feature leaving the swans very much depleted in midfield, but Flynn Downes and Matt Grimes will start. Either Korey Smith or Liam Walsh will replace Ntcham, although we do know conversations have taken place between Jay Fulton and Russell Martin regards his immediate future at the club. Last season Fulton was a certain fixture in Steve Cooper’s match day selection, this season he has fallen out of favour.

Rhys Williams may well be selected in the squad for the game, but lessons need to be learned from the midweek game at Fulham. Ben Cabango, Ryan Manning and Kyle Naughton were all asked to do jobs in the swans defence that were unfamiliar to them. A return for Ryan Bennet with Cabango and Manning could be the answer. Bennett faces a fitness test this morning at the Swansea City hotel in Derbyshire.

You would expect Ethan Laird to again be selected and Jake Bidwell seems the obvious choice on the left hand side as well. It’s almost a certainty Jamie Paterson and Joel Piroe will feature up top. Many swans fans will want to see Morgan Whittaker named on the bench at least.

Joel Piroe is in a hot vein of form

Russell Martin remains confident in his sides ability though, especially after the recent performance at Craven Cottage. “At Fulham, we worked on a few different things out of possession. They had to show moments of real quality to beat a high press. When you say tighten up, before that we had no shots on target against us in the game before against Huddersfield. It’s up to us to try and bring the correct mentality at Derby”

On the situation in the championship so far Russell Martin is very clear that the rams are responding perfectly to what has been hugely testing times for the club. "The league is so close and tight. Anyone can beat anyone," said the 35-year-old. "I think Derby have done brilliantly considering the circumstances they’ve found themselves in. I’ve got a lot of admiration for the job that Wayne is doing there. Sometimes these circumstances can bring you together and give you something to really fight for. It seems that they’ve gone that way rather than feeling sorry for themselves. "They’re not giving anything up, they are really fighting. It’s a long season and they’re putting themselves right back in the mix. I think it’s going to be a really tough game. They’ve got a lot of experienced players that are definitely going to help them in this situation. They had a great result in midweek. "The people that get affected the most are the people behind the scenes. People that really care about the club that have probably been there for a long time. "Often the ones that are the most secure are the players and the management staff. They have to try and find a way to do the people justice. "It’s a really tough situation for any club to be in, especially a club of that size and stature. I don’t know the ins and outs of it, but they seem to be dealing with it on the pitch and in terms of how they are together really well."

For us here at Swansea Independent, unlike Russell Martin, we genuinely believe hiring a manager like Wayne Rooney is pretty similar to throwing money out of your car window on the M6. He has shown absolutely no attention to his clubs development, and is reliant upon certain senior layers to keep him in a job. At no point has Rooney ever spoken about his overall plan for the club at any other level than spending money. His ability to comprehend a scenario with no money is astonishing, and his overall reliance on his assistant Liam Rosenior is embarrassing, a coach with exceptional ability wasted on the likes of Rooney. Harsh, but really what else would you expect to hear ?

Regardless if the swans win, lose or draw today - as we have said many times it doesn’t matter, the outcome of the performance, and how that performance evidences progression is crucial. Swans fans looking at the top six today are clearly not listening to what is required for our clubs progression over the next ten months. The top six is not the issue. Being able to comprehend what is being said by the manager is what it’s all about, not the latest result, that’s just bouncing about from one week to the next, like half of the Championship, absolutely terrified about relegation. This isn’t a side capable of achieving anything in the premier league, so why even worry about promotion ? The next year is the target. The rebuild with players who understand the overall strategy is crucial. Where this side is come this evening means absolutely nothing. And once that is taken on board Russell Martin will get more space and time to work at his plan to take this club forwards.

Wayne Rooney, a totally baffling appointment for any club

Many are predicting the game will be a draw today, but that isn’t the point ( scuse the pun ) Personally, and not many will like this, a heavy defeat or a narrow win, or even a commanding 4-0 thrashing of Derby County matters not. This is game eleven in a series of matches to enable our young manager and coaching team to progress, and to develop not only themselves, but the whole Swansea City squad. And to be honest if you think otherwise you clearly haven’t been listening to the people in charge at Swansea City who can make that happen.

Join us later on our match day forum, it’s lively to say the least.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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