Head coach Martin pleased by squad options

12th December 2022
First team
Close up of Russell Martin shouting encouragement

Russell Martin believes the return of key players to full fitness and from World Cup duty has left his Swansea City squad in good shape for the remainder of the Championship season.

Jamie Paterson started against Norwich at the weekend having benefited from a World Cup break which gave him the opportunity for concerted work on the training ground; with the midfielder having struggled with a groin problem earlier in the campaign.

Joe Allen came off the bench for his first Swansea appearance since September 17 – having featured for Wales against Iran and England in Qatar – while Ben Cabango, Ollie Cooper and Olivier Ntcham also played against the Canaries.

Their presence left the head coach believing he had the strongest matchday squad at his disposal since he joined the Swans in July 2021.

And that bodes well for the months ahead.

“It was great having the World Cup players back and they made an impact. I thought Joe was fantastic when he came on,” said Martin.

Joe Allen close up v Norwich City

“Olivier was great, Ollie Cooper too. I think that was probably one of the strongest benches we have had since we have been here.

“That is a positive, and Armstrong (Oko-Flex) also came on and provided a different threat for us, while Pato is one who is all the better for the break and is someone who can make a difference for us now he has had a chance to build up his fitness.

“We were pleased with the options we had at our disposal and with the group we have got.

“We are so grateful for the work they have all put in, and the guys coming back from the World Cup are just going to strengthen us because they were already important players before they went to Qatar.

“We are excited about what we are building, losing to Norwich does not change that because the performance deserved more.”