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

I Can’t Wait For Next Season, Says Russell Martin After Swansea Have 77 Per Cent Possession And One Shot

By Gareth James

Swansea City head coach Russell Martin has admitted he is already thinking of next season as their current campaign rises and lurches to a nauseous conclusion.

The Swans lost 1-0 at Blackpool, a scoreline that was not in the least surprising – just as the statistic which showed their dominance of possession was 77 per cent will shock no-one, either.

Under Martin this season, this is what Swansea do. They pass a lot.

Sometimes, it works well and there are sufficient chances created for them to win the game as they did in recent back-to-back victories over West Brom and Coventry City.

On other occasions, though, they create virtually nothing. Blackpool was one of those – with the home side having four shots on target from 23 per cent possession, compared to Swansea’s one.

Swansea had 74 per cent of possession in the first half an hour of the game but failed to have an attempt on goal.


Martin has quickly become the master of looking on the bright side. Perhaps, when you’re in charge of Swansea – whose owners seem happy for the club to drift along in the Championship with no clear strategy – then optimism is the only course to follow.

“I really enjoyed today, it’s a sign of where we want to get to, of where we want to be next season,” said Martin after Gary Madine’s eighth goal of the season gave Blackpool a narrow win at Bloomfield Road.

The striker’s fourth-minute header was enough to give the Seasiders a third league win in a row, and fifth in six home games.

Warming to his sunny side theme, Martin added: “We were great in the first half, really dominant, (although) we didn’t create enough.

“A little bit of ruthlessness and quality in the final third was all that was lacking today, but over the last four games our performance level has been really good.

“We’ve done what we did with the players we had.


“We have a lot of young men who finished the game. We just need to keep learning and growing. I’d love to see us in a year’s time, especially when we come back here.”

Martin’s side dominated possession throughout but were frustrated by an organised Tangerine defence.

But as a result of the win, Blackpool move to within six points of sixth-placed Luton in the Sky Bet Championship, while Swansea remain 16th.

Martin added: “We’ve let ourselves down, conceding such a poor, early goal from someone we worked on.

“It’s unacceptable, really. But I thought we were dominant. We were playing against a very direct team and they had a couple of counter-attacks because we had a lot of the ball.

“Their biggest threat was set-pieces and goal-kicks where they could hit Gary Madine and unfortunately we’ve paid the price for it.


“After that, we didn’t create enough. We had one massive chance with Cyrus [Christie] but when you’re playing against a team who are built on defensive structure and good out of possession, it becomes really difficult.

“Because we’ve given them a one-goal start, it changes their mentality. That’s the frustrating thing, but overall, I thought the performance was really good.”

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley said: “Swansea can make teams suffer by keeping the ball, but (the players) are good at suffering.

“You have to put your ego aside when you play against Swansea because you know they’re going to have a lot of the ball.

“Our squad have humility, they work for each other, and you can see that in abundance – I wouldn’t want to play against them.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *