Managing emotions will be important factor in derby, says Russell Martin

16th October 2021
First team
Derby away Russell Martin

Swansea City head coach Russell Martin believes managing the emotions of the South Wales derby will be a crucial factor in Sunday’s clash with Cardiff.

Not since October 2019 - a game settled by loanee Ben Wilmot's header - have the Jack Army been in attendance for the derby in SA1, while Martin will experience the south Wales derby for the first time.

Having played in the East Anglia and Old Firm derbies during his playing career, he is no stranger to the atmosphere, excitement and reward served up by local rivalries.

And while he can’t wait to hear the Jack Army roar on Sunday afternoon, he feels an ability to control emotions is going to be a vital part of his team’s approach.

Russell Martin

“The reward at the end is three points, we have to contextualise the game, it’s the biggest one of the season at home to our rivals,” said Martin.

“I’m not going to play it down at all, I've been on that side of the fence. It’s huge, I know how much it means for them. It’s a balance for us. We’ve got guys who've played enough of them now to understand what it means.

“We let the fans lift the atmosphere, it’s going to be incredible, let them feel it and enjoy it. That’s the balance for us, managing the emotion of it. The guys know that and they’ll be ready for that. I just want us to take to the pitch, be brave and be us.”