|Rotherham United 1 v 1 Swansea City|
Saturday, 30th July 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea City travel to Rotherham with Russell Martin very happy
Saturday, 30th Jul 2022 08:00 by @Cornish67David & Keith Haynes
Swansea City head coach Russell Martin is extremely happy with his squad and it’s overall ability to go in to todays Championship opener at Rotherham in a very positive frame of mind. Having travelled yesterday to the game, including an overnight stop to assess late term injuries the swans are extremely confident going in to a very difficult fixture in Yorkshire.
With temperatures today expected to be warm with some possibility of rain the Jack Army are travelling to the New York stadium full of hope for Martin’s debut game against newly promoted Rotherham United. Around 1,500 swans fans will be at the game despite travel disruption on the trains, and of course a busy day on the motorways around England.
Martin has no concerns whatsoever regards his team selection and is more than happy with the players he has available. And that includes some question marks over Joe Allen and Ben Cabango. Both players are expecting to be selected for the World Cup in their countries colours, but the swans boss is not willing to rush both back for this game. With Nathan Wood and Harry Darling fit and a variety of selections available both in defence and midfield, be that Ryan Manning, Jay Fulton or Olivier Ntcham Swansea City have a relatively strong first eleven regardless of his decisions come 3pm.
Speaking on Friday Martin said "We are probably a couple of positions and key roles away from being really happy with the squad. We really believe in the group. We have a core young group of men who have so much potential. It's our job to try to maximise that. If they are able to ride the tough moments, if they are able to overcome the challenges, then who knows where it will take us. We have a group of supporters who feel really connected to the team again I think. I think that connection will go a long way to helping us this season finishing hopefully a lot higher than we did last season."
Nothing wrong there at all.
The front two are expected to pick themselves with both Joel Piroe and Michael Obafemi sharp and fit the supply line to them will produce goals this afternoon if everything goes to plan. Russell Martin has bought some time after a rebuilding process throughout last season, but now swans fans will be looking for results.
It may not come today in what has to be one of the hardest away fixtures a team can face on opening day. Rotherham are not used to losing and will want to put on a real display of desire in front of what is looking like a sell out home crowd. However, performance wise Swansea City will want to see confident passing, quick delivery in to danger areas - and at least something to build on as this season progresses.
Swansea City are not being mentioned as potential promotion contenders which is probably the best news Russell Martin can hear. The last six games of the last season certainly did prompt some hard pre season work, especially in defence. The proof today will come with a competitive display by Swansea and the ability to remain focussed if the home side score, and even if the swans score as well. There has to be some formula for distribution of the ball from the back to cause Rotherham problems, The much maligned keeper to defender restarts has to be delivered with accuracy and assurity.
Anything else will not bode well in any post match analysis.
Russell Martin and his coaching team now have a responsibility to display the results of all their pre season hard work. And it starts today in Yorkshire. We’ve all heard the ‘no fear’ comments and the brave decision making remarks, but now we want to see the proof, even if the swans return home pointless, there has to be progression. There are weaknesses within the squad, and possibly today in the starting eleven as well. However, all we have ever asked for is one hundred per cent commitment in our clubs shirt. If that is delivered today, then nothing else matters. Seven years in the premier league have never felt so far way, But today is a small step forwards, Swansea City need to give the Jack Army something to believe in, and it starts this afternoon.
We are not entitled, and we are most certainly not a club which automatically deserves promotion or recognition, however like every club we need hope. And with all due respects to the coaching staff at Swansea City, that is all down to you. The bar has been set. The fans who travel the whole country with the highest mileage in the championship ask for nothing else but total commitment. Just like they give throughout every game the swans play.
And nothing more than one hundred percent all round will do.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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