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Birmingham City 2 v 1 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 23rd October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Russell Martin ‘ Obafemi is in a really good place’
Friday, 22nd Oct 2021 19:00 by David Cornish

The swans have scored some magnificent goals this season, far more of a variety than we have seen in recent times. Joel Piroe has a collection of cool finishes already, and once he heads a ball I’m certain that will go in as well. He has been absolutely fantastic. We have been blessed indeed with a management team who have total faith in the coaching methods of Russell Martin, and as we have stated all along he is the answer to our club this season. No matter how rocky this journey becomes.

I actually managed to speak directly to Russell this morning at the press conference, these occasions are always interesting, they do take a bit of effort to get to at times, but it’s good to get an opportunity for some one on one chats with other journalists, and indeed Swansea staff. Today was no different and it was pleasing to hear that Ryan Manning is up for selection for Birmingham tomorrow as well as Michael Obafemi. It’s not looking that clear cut for Flynn Downes who will need more testing this afternoon and in the morning.

On that point here is some information which I picked up last season when I was working elsewhere on these very thorough fitness tests. Flynn Downes will be put through his paces in a linear test followed by a 505 test later today. The linear test is best explained by, the player sprints through a set 10m mark and the timer records the time they pass the marker. Repeat for 10m, and then do twice for 20m and 30m. Take the average score across the two efforts for each distance. The 505 is much the same, the player sprints to the 15m mark, turns on their right foot and sprints back through the 10m marker. The timer starts the stopwatch as the player passes the 10m mark on the way out and stops as the player passes the same mark on the way back. Repeat twice for left and right foot turns, and take the average score for each. There are twenty or so other fitness checks and tests, maybe we can look at them more in depth another time, but these two are the big test for Flynn.

On Obafemi, Russell Martin seemed pleased enough with his training this week “ Michael is back to where he needs to be and where we think he should be. We were tempted to bring him back really quickly and then risk another injury, he missed a lot of pre season, in fact he didn’t have one here. It’s really important we get him back right physically” Martin was very clear today that he must listen to his sports science staff and medical team and not let his head rule his heart. “Michael is in a really good place, training really well, he’s back and raring to go”

It was genuinely honest of Martin to reference the Luton Town issue which our web site magazine / owner / editor Keith Haynes highlighted in the week. Mentioning it this morning Martin said very clearly Rhys Williams had a tough time after Luton Town. For those catching up he was racially abused by a Luton spectator at the match. Clearly Russell relies on developmental talks ( one to one chats ) with players which has happened on numerous occasions over the last few weeks with Williams. Plus Liverpool have sent their loan manager down to Swansea as well. It was lovely to hear as well that Rhys Williams is training with a smile on his face and loving his time at Swansea.

Rhys Williams back to training with a smile on his face

On Birmingham “Yes, I’ve watched a couple of games, QPR before, they have talented players,they work extremely hard, they pose a threat and are a strong and aggressive team. It will be a tough test for us especially on the end of a busy week. We need to find the same levels of energy and aggression and impose our game on them”

Our match day supplement returns tomorrow.

What a great week folks, the swans headed to Birmingham earlier today and must be in fine fettle after two big wins at home this week. The press briefing with Russell was interesting too, and just for information purposes when we collaborate with other journalists, reporters, interview personally, or use other sources - where possible this is recorded via audio and at least transcribed. It’s the least we can do as qualified journalists, and is recommended by our union which we all belong to. It’s our duty to our profession, and when it’s questioned by certain quarters they too need to have a duty to themselves, or at least understand our processes and how we gather information

Photographs Swansea Independent

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