Preview | Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City
A new chapter begins for Swansea City this afternoon as they open their 2021-22 Championship campaign under the guidance of new head coach Russell Martin.
The 35-year-old has had a quick turnaround when it comes to preparations for the fixture at Ewood Park, having only been appointed six days ago, and he and his coaching team will need time to bed in and start to get their methods across.
But the appointment of the former Norwich defender has caused much excitement among the club’s supporters given a reputation for an attractive, possession-based style of play that chimes with so much of Swansea City’s recent history.
And Martin has repeatedly underlined his commitment to delivering a side that excites and entertains Swansea fans, as well as he and his coaching staff.
He opens up with a fixture Swansea have drawn in each of the last three seasons, although they have not won at Ewood Park since September 1971.
But the new boss will hope for a performance that shows glimpses of the style of football he wants to implement at his new club.
Jay Fulton will be absent for the Swans as he serves the first game of a three-match suspension following his red card in last season’s play-off final.
Matt Grimes and Liam Walsh were battling to be fit following recent injuries, while new signing Jamie Paterson is available to make his debut.
Russell Martin: “The players have been so receptive, they’ve given us a lot of hope that we can put a team out on Saturday that shows the foundations of what it’s going to look like moving forward.
“The rest is up to us to bring, and that will be a team that looks the same wherever it goes and tries to adapt and be flexible in our way. Hopefully we can do that.
“The players will be really clear on what’s expected of them on Saturday by the time kick-off comes, individually and collectively, and hopefully we’ll see it take shape and improve game-on-game and week-on-week.
“I hope you see a performance that shows a foundation of what we’re going to try and bring.”
Tony Mowbray: “Out performance level at home has been pretty good over recent seasons, but I know that supporters, whether they’re cheering or moaning, drive the emotion of every team.
“It’s much better if they’re cheering, but I think fans in general in all stadiums around the country will be great to have them back.
“As with every season, there will be winners and losers and we’re in a professional environment and have to deal with that, we have to try and win football matches and that’s we will be doing, starting with Saturday.
Remember the last time?
Swansea City moved level on points with the automatic promotion places as Andre Ayew’s fourth penalty in four games secured a hard-earned point from last season’s visit to Blackburn.
Victory would have moved the Swans into the top two, but they fell behind when Bradley Dack’s low strike opened the scoring at Ewood Park.
But the visitors quickly levelled thanks to Ayew’s 14th goal of the season, as he once again kept his nerve from the penalty spot.
The point moves Swansea onto 66 points; level with second-placed Watford with a game in hand.
7 – Seven of the last eight full-time Swansea appointments as manager or head coach have won their first league game in charge.
1971 – Swansea City are seeking a first win at Ewood Park in 50 years, having last triumphed there in September 1971 in the Third Division.