Korey Smith return a big boost, admits Russell Martin

22nd September 2021
First team
Brighton away Korey Smith 3

Russell Martin believes Korey Smith’s return to action has given Swansea City’s squad a big boost – and expects the midfielder to surprise people with his capabilities.

Smith made his first appearance since the opening day as the Swans exited the Carabao Cup at the hands of Premier League side Brighton at the Amex Stadium.

He has been sidelined with a calf injury that forced him off during the Championship opener at Blackburn in August.

But his return to action on Wednesday night was a big boost on a personal and team level.

Smith featured alongside Jay Fulton – captain for the night – and Liam Walsh in midfield, and the 30-year-old went within inches of scoring his first goal for the club only to see his effort strike the crossbar. He had earlier flashed a header from Jake Bidwell's cross just wide.

And Martin was hugely complimentary of Smith for his performance and energy on the pitch before he was replaced by Yan Dhanda after 64 minutes.

Brighton away Russell Martin

“It was fantastic for Korey. At Blackburn on the opening day he was one of our better players, and the same tonight,” said the Swans head coach.

“It was a shame he didn’t score because he deserved it. He brings a lot as a character as much as a player. He will add a lot to us, and he will surprise a lot of people with what he is capable of doing because it’s a different role to what he’s had before.

“He’s looked great in training, took his opportunity well at Brighton, and got over 60 minutes into his  legs. He’ll be stronger for it.”