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Swansea City 3 v 0 Cardiff City
SkyBet Championship
Sunday, 17th October 2021 Kick-off 12:00
Swansea City go in to the South Wales derby in a wonderful position.
Friday, 15th Oct 2021 11:50 by Gruff Stephens

Swansea City manager Russell Martin has confirmed all of his squad are available for selection for Sunday’s derby game against Cardiff City. The first time he has been in this position all season.

Martin was philosophical in his press conference this afternoon before the ‘Big Crunch’ match.“It’s our job to get the players as physically and mentally fit as possible without breaking them.Its a lovely position to be in, and it’s tough, even trying to select who goes on the benching difficult. It’s a brilliant problem to have. The moral at the end of it is three points. This game is massive, huge, I’m fortunate to be manager, and I know how much it means to the fans”

Crucially for Martin he needs to strike a balance between the excitement and will of the supporters and his players, most of whom are new to this kind of intensity. Half of his potential selection will not have experienced this pressure and passion before. “We have to strike a balance where all the excitement doesn’t take over for us. I have to manage the emotions but I’m aware of what this is all about. We will take to the pitch and be brave, and be us”

Swans fans will be heartened to know that Russell Martin has played for Glasgow Rangers in the old firm derby, that will hold him in good stead. They may also be slightly disappointed to hear the Norwich v Ipswich rivalry is similar, that’s a huge under estimation by the swans boss. “It’s what it means to the people, the old firm Derby is very different, the political, religious and one city values add to an already intense mix. Any derby for any fan, and they will constantly remind you this is the big one. I’ve played in Ipswich Norwich derbies as well, I know the intensity ”

Let’s see if he thinks that post match.

On Cardiff City Martin explained the broad differences between both sides. “The way we try to play, then the make up of their team is very different to the personnel we have and the profile of our players. I’m not overly focussed on styles, but we have to turn it in to us being the dominant team and the aggressor. We do a lot of work on opponents, and we respect everyone we play. However, it’s more about what we do, improving what we do, and what we need to focus on”

On the last derby game in Swansea - “The players who played have told me they played really well in that game, but got beat. They felt they were good enough to win. But this is a very different team, we are in a different place now, our players have shown immense courage and will take this in to Sunday. We are a close knit group, we have the right mentality, I’m very proud of them”

“Any derby game is worth watching, for the emotion, when it takes over it’s exciting to watch, we have a real opportunity to show a lot of people what we are all about, explained the swans manager, “And it’s about how we can handle this occasion. It’s a superb opportunity for all our players”

Swansea City have a full strength squad to choose from, and go in to the game confident that they can not only win the game, but win it in style.

Photographs and images by Swansea Independent

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