Russell Martin | It's a tough test, but we have shown we can bounce back

4th December 2021
First team
Russell Martin

Russell Martin believes Middlesbrough are a side in transition but one that will pose a real challenge for Swansea City given the excitement over Chris Wilder’s appointment.

Former Sheffield United boss Wilder is just a few games into his tenure at the Riverside Stadium, having succeeded Neil Warnock last month.

But Wilder’s track record of promotions, most notably taking the Blades from League One to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League, mean there is a buoyancy about Boro.

The Swans have their own reasons for positivity, lying ninth in the table after a good run where performances have continued to improve following a hectic start to the campaign following the head coach’s appointment just days before the season began.

It sets up an intriguing contest, but one Martin is confident his players will be ready for as they look to bounce back from defeat to Reading.

“I think they are a team in transition with good players,” said the Swans boss.

“I think they have a group of players who are really enjoying life under a new manager and what he’s asking them to do.

“I loved the way his team played at Sheffield United and you can see a lot of similarities with his team now.

Russell Martin

“I can tell you Chris and his coaching staff are people we have a lot of respect and admiration for given what they achieved and how they achieved it.

“It’ll be a tough test but these guys have always bounced back brilliantly from a little bit of disappointment.

“We look forward to it and hopefully we’ll come back with a positive performance and result.”

While Martin will be in the away dugout, one of his former team-mates will be leading out the home team with Jonny Howson having spent a number of years at Norwich alongside Martin and Ryan Bennett.

“Ryan Bennett and Jonny are very close, and he is a guy I've got a lot of respect for,” said Martin.

“He’s had an outstanding career and right up there for one of the best guys I've played with. I really like Jonny as a player and a person. It’s no surprise to me that he’s a captain there. 

“I am sure there will be a chance to have a chat but I’m hoping we will be doing that having had a good performance and picked up three points."