Swansea City striker Michael Obafemi. Pic: Getty Images.

Axed Michael Obafemi “Getting There, Slowly” Says Swansea City Boss Russell Martin

By Paul Jones

Michael Obafemi is set to be left out again by Swansea City head coach Russell Martin for Tuesday night’s home game against Sheffield United.

The Republic of Ireland striker – who was hopeful of a deadline day move to Burnley – is described as “getting there, slowly” by Martin, when asked if Obafemi was ready to return.

The former Southampton player – who was hopeful of a £10m move – was not in the match day squad for the club’s 1-0 win over QPR which followed the closing of the transfer window after his head coach claimed the forward was not in the right frame of mind to play.

“Michael will be back in the squad as soon as he’s ready to be back,” said Martin.

“That’s where we’re at. He had a turbulent few days in the transfer window. After that it’s down to him to show us that he’s right to contribute to the team.

“He’s been fine. There’s a group of players who won against QPR and did really well. Michael has to compete with those guys.”

 

Asked if Obafemi was now in the right frame of mind, Martin added: “I would say he’s getting there, slowly but surely. He’s in a better place than a week ago.

“I don’t think he’s unhappy to still be here. He was told the move was a lot closer than it actually was at one point. When you think something’s there that’s beneficial in ways outside of football, then there’s going to be some disappointment.

“But he’s not unhappy to be here still. He understands how important the club has been for his development. We’re not dealing with 25 robots, they all have different characteristics and personalities.

“We just have to help Michael through this period. I’ve got no doubt we will.”

With Obafemi unlikely to be considered, the Swans are set to continue with Joel Piroe as their central striker.

The Dutchman, who was also the subject of speculation over his future during the transfer window, had scored three goals in as many games before the postponement of last weekend’s Championship programme.

Sheffield United are currently top of the Championship table, with five victories from their opening eight games and just one defeat.

The Swans are back in 19th place and Martin added: “They’re full of excellent players with loads of Premier League experience.

Swansea City head coach Russell Martin. Pic: Getty Images.

“Physicality, athleticism, they’re really good. It’ll be a tough game for us.

“It’s up to us to approach it with the right mentality. In this league you’ve got a chance against anyone. The real thing for us, you get a win, you’re really not far away. It’s still early days.”

Football on a wide scale is set to recommence on Tuesday following the postponement of all the weekend’s fixtures, but policing concerns mean games will be assessed on a match-by-match basis.

The Football League programme is due to return, but resourcing issues, particularly in relation to police, may cause difficulties with certain local authority’s Safety Advisory Group protocols.

Millwall are set to play two home games next week, against QPR on Wednesday and Blackpool on Saturday. The Queen’s funeral takes place next Monday.

Swansea City Captain Tells Axed Michael Obafemi: Clear Your Head And Get Back To Business

Discussions with UEFA are ongoing over the scheduled European fixtures this week involving British clubs in the Champions League, Europa League and European Conference League.

 

Rangers’ Champions League tie with Napoli has been put back a day to Wednesday, September 14, due to “severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues”.

The Premier League resumes on Friday night, when Aston Villa host Southampton and Fulham travel to Nottingham Forest.

In London, Tottenham take on Leicester on Saturday evening, while Brentford play Arsenal and Chelsea are at home to Liverpool on Sunday.

“We will work with football clubs to try and ensure that, where possible, football fixtures can take place safely when balanced against the requirement to support national events and deliver day-to-day policing,” said a statement from the National Police Chief’s Council.

“This is a unique situation and we are working closely with everyone involved.”

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