Russell Martin | It was special to share that with our fans again

22nd January 2022
First team
Russell Martin

Russell Martin was delighted Swansea City got to share a victory with the Jack Army on the day supporters returned to the Stadium.

The Swans recorded a 1-0 win over Preston North End thanks to a thunderous strike from Ryan Manning early in the second half.

It ensured a three-point haul for the hosts as they played in front of home supporters for the first time since December 11.

And Martin was happy to be able to mark the occasions with a result.

“There is a lot of relief at the end of a tough period. I was so pleased for the supporters because they have been so patient and understanding of what is going on here,” said the Swans boss.

“There has been a lot of change, and change can be messy and scary at times. But there is a big understanding and an awareness of the long-term view for the team and the vision and identity we are trying to bring to the team.

“So, it’s great to give them moments like that. The atmosphere was brilliant, especially in that second half and the boys just fed off that.

Preston home Ryan Manning

“It would have been a very different game without them in the stadium, so we are grateful to have them back and we hope it stays that way.

“It’s been a really difficult period for our players to manage and I am sure it has been the same for the supporters missing those emotions that we know football can bring.

“But we were so pleased to all be back together again and celebrate it with a win.”

After a tight first half, the Swans played with real energy after the break and had chances to extend their advantage.

They had to weather a late spell of Preston pressure, but they got the three points.

“I am really pleased we got the win and a clean sheet,” added Martin.

“We limited a very good team to one shot on target for the 90 minutes, and I feel like we could and should have scored a couple more goals.

“We could have shown a bit more calmness in the final third and in front of goal, but of course we are pleased to win.

“I thought we started off a bit tense in the first half, we were a little bit flat. Maybe that is to be expected when we have just had six weeks without playing here in front of our own fans.

“I just felt we were missing that spark, that bit of energy, but the second half brought all of that.

Preston home Russell Martin

“I really liked us in that period and then it got a bit open, because they carry a threat and they gambled.

“It became a bit too open, but we defended properly, limited them to very little and I am really proud of the guys for that. We have got three points, which I think we deserved.”