Russell Martin expects proper cup tie atmosphere

8th January
First team
Russell Martin

Swansea City boss Russell Martin is anticipating a full-blooded encounter when his side face Bristol City in the third round of the FA Cup this afternoon (12.30pm).

The Swans head to Ashton Gate for the second time this season, with the teams having played out a 1-1 draw in an entertaining Championship tussle early in the campaign.

They do so having produced positive performances against high-flying Watford and Burnley in their last two Championship fixtures.

Give the congested nature of the second tier and the play-off picture, some may expect Martin and Swansea to view the game as a distraction.

But the head coach insists that is not how he and his side see it, particularly with a sold-out away end cheering them on.

“The FA Cup remains an exciting competition for the players, the staff and the club,” said Martin.

“It should be a good cup tie, we have a lot of fans going, it’s a relatively short journey down the road and so it should be a great atmosphere.

“I think the early kick-off time always helps that as well.

Russell Martin

“So we are really looking forward to it. I know people say you don’t want to draw a team in your own league, but in terms of the locality and the distance for supporters to travel it makes for a good game.

“It was certainly a good game at their place earlier in the season. I think both teams came away at the end feeling like they could have won it.

“We finished the game really, really strongly and I hope we can build on how we played against Watford and Burnley.

“It is a game that gives us an opportunity to try certain things out. I have been really pleased with how the players have adapted to some of the things we have tried to do. We have been flexible but our identity has still been clear to see.

“So we want to bring the same energy and aggression as the last two games, and I think a cup tie brings a lot of that with it anyway. It sets it up to be a really good game.”