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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

We have to be realistic – Russell Martin on his Southampton selection

As the Swans and Southampton prepare to hopefully lock horns at the weekend in the FA Cup, Russell Martin has opened up on the challenges of the team selection that faces him this weekend with his squad having been decimated in the past few weeks due to the Covid outbreak within his squad.

The Swans have not played a competitive match since December 11 when we lost 4-1 at home to Nottingham Forest with the last four league games all having been called off due to outbreaks at the Swans, QPR and Millwall.

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Optimism is high that Saturday’s FA Cup tie – which must be played to a finish – will go ahead but Martin knows that it presents him with a challenge with many of his squad only returning to light training duties this week after almost two weeks off.

“Saturday is a really competitive game, it’s one we really want to win, but we also have to be realistic and aware of who can play a full 90 minutes after this break,” the Swans boss told the club’s official website.

“It will be about who has been able to train throughout this period, who is robust enough, and that will be reflected in the team we name and any changes we make.

“Fortunately we can name nine subs if we can name that many, and make five changes, which will allow us to be flexible.

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“But we will put out the best possible side to win the game and to try and prepare us for the next league game and be ready for a big week when hopefully we will have every single player back.”

It is clear from these words that Martin is focusing more on the league fixture to follow at Huddersfield and, given a four week break from competitive games, it is fair to assume that we will see more than a few fringe players taking part on Saturday although that is likely to be the same for the visiting Saints as well.

“We have had a number of players who have had to have 10 days off (due to periods of isolation) and not been able to leave their houses or apartments,” added Martin.

“So it will take a bit of fitness out of them with no training, and this week will be really important to get some work in.”

The Swans FA Cup 3rd round tie has a 5.30pm kick off on Saturday and is live on BBC One Wales.

 

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Phil Sumblerhttp://www.planetswans.co.uk
Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

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