Russell Martin | This is a great test for us to face first up

30th July 2022
First team
Russell Martin training

Swansea City head coach Russell Martin believes this afternoon's championship opener against Rotherham United (3pm) will be a great test for his side to face first up.

The Swans travel to play the Millers at the AESSEAL New York Stadium looking to build on last season's 15th place finish, after having a full pre-season under their belt with Martin and his staff to prepare for the new campaign.

Martin has spoken of the importance of getting off to a good start, but know they will face a stern test against a newly-promoted Rotherham side determined to establish themselves in the second tier after two recent one-season stints at Championship level.

Having been relegated in 2021, the Yorkshire club bounced back to the Championship at the first attempt, gaining automatic promotion after their second-place finish in League One last season.

The Millers boasted the league's meanest defense, conceding just 33 goals and gaining 23 clean sheets in the process, and the Swans boss feels this first assignment will be a good test for his squad.

“Any first game is difficult. We could have played a team coming down from the Premier League. We could have played a team that had just missed out on promotion. It just doesn’t matter what the opposition is on the opening day, it’s a tough game,’’ he said.

“We haven’t played competitive football for three months and it’s exciting to be back in that situation.

“We’ve have faced Paul Warne and his teams before as a coaching staff. He’s a guy I've got a lot of respect for, and Gilly [Matt Gill] knows him well from Norfolk growing up.

“They have a real identity, really different to ours, but it is one that is really clear and really strong. We know exactly what they are about.

"They make it difficult for opponents for sure, especially at home. It’s a brilliant challenge for us and one I'm looking forward to and the players are ready for.

“I’m sure they look at the way we play and have done a lot of work on it will have a plan to try and disrupt that and upset that as much as possible."