Brennan Johnson of Nottingham Forest scores his team's third goal against Swansea City. Pic: Getty Images.

Swansea City Just Don’t Have The Depth We Need, Admits Russell Martin As They Slump To 16th Spot

By Gareth James

Russell Martin has admitted Swansea City don’t have the depth to sustain a promotion play-off challenge.

The Swans head coach gave a realistic assessment of his squad in what might be considered as a clear message to the club’s American owners that they need to authorise some spending in the January transfer window.

It comes after Martin’s side crashed to a 4-1 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest, a team revitalized under Martin’s successor, Steve Cooper.

Swansea have slumped from the fringes of the play-off battle to 16th place in the table after three straight defeats in which they have conceded eight goals.

Having managed four wins in five matches back in October, they are now in their leanest spell under Martin with just one victory in their last six games.

“At this minute in time, we don’t possess the depth we’d probably like. That is what it is,” said Martin.

Without Kyle Naughton in defence against Forest – the player was isolating after a member of his family tested positive for Covid-19 – Martin confessed his team had suffered.

“Kyle coming out today, we lose a really important member of our team, not just in terms of what he can do with the ball, but his mentality and the way he helps his team-mates.

“It is what it is. That’ll be addressed at some point.


“We lost a big part of our team in Kyle. He’ll be back early next week, but I’m not sure on Ethan Laird,” said Martin.

“Ethan was a loss when he came off, but Joel Latibeaudiere is learning a new position.

“We’ve had to shuffle the pack a lot. We got into a good rhythm in terms of team selection, but that’s not been the case recently.

“Obviously we are really disappointed to lose by that scoreline,” added the Swans boss. “We had the better chances and should have been one or two up by half-time.

“Joel Piroe missed an open goal, and we’ve been punished our errors. If you look at the goals we’ve conceded, that’s obvious. In those five minutes (after the break) we were not us. We worked so hard to get back into the game, but another individual error cost us.

“I’m disappointed with the scoreline, but not the performance.

“In the last three games we have created more than what we have all season. If we cut out the individual mistakes, then we’ll be fine.”

All the goals came in an action-packed second half as Philip Zinckernagel and Lewis Grabban put Forest into a two-goal lead before Piroe gave Swansea hope.

But the outstanding Brennan Johnson profited from Ben Hamer’s goalkeeping howler and substitute Cafu struck deep in stoppage time to wrap up the points.


Cooper had twice taken Swansea to the Championship play-offs in his two years at the club, with his final game being a Wembley defeat to Brentford in May.

Cooper has lost only one game in 14 since becoming Forest boss in September and he said: “To win 4-1 away from home in any Championship game is always a great day. But tactically, we were perfect.

“We came here to win and were full of confidence, expecting to win the game – but we knew we had to do it a certain way.

“The guys just played the game plan exactly as we wanted it to go.

“We accepted Swansea would have more of the ball and make more passes, but where that happens is the important thing.

“I apologise if I didn’t say much about it (pre-match), but I guess the person who thought about it, about coming back, was me. I was just so focused on the game.

“It will never, ever change my opinion of here. It’s a brilliant football club, gave me an amazing opportunity, and I loved my two years here with the players, the staff, the supporters and people I met. That will never, ever change. Never change.

“But I am all-in now with Forest. I’ve moved on. They’ve moved on.

“Apart from days like today, I wish them well. It will continue to be a brilliant football club in a brilliant part of the world.”

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