Russell Martin makes case for the defence

13th April 2022
First team
Derby home Ben Cabango

Russell Martin has praised the efforts of Swansea City’s defenders with and without the ball after seeing his side concede just one goal in their last four games.

The Swans have kept 16 clean sheets in the Championship this term, only Huddersfield Town (17) and Sheffield United (18) have kept more.

Three of those came in succession against Birmingham City, Cardiff City and Millwall, while the goal conceded in the win over Derby came from the penalty spot.

Head coach Martin has been pleased with the consistency shown over recent weeks, and highlighted the link between the control his side have in possession, allied to the defensive capabilities of Swansea’s rearguard.

“If you look, we have had very few shots on target against us over the last number of games, and first and foremost put that down to the bravery the players have shown on the ball,” he said.

“It takes away energy from opponents with what they do on the ball, with the courage they show, and they are so important for us in terms of how we build play.

“It’s also down to their willingness and desire to defend and close down the distances to players.

Cardiff away Kyle Naughton

“We have conceded a penalty in four games, and we were disappointed with that, but that is good going.

“Ben Cabango’s level of consistency has been brilliant since January, he has grown so much. He has been immense.

“Naughts is Naughts, we all understand what he brings and how good he has been. I think the players appreciate him, and I think he is getting that appreciation from supporters and people outside the club too.

“And Joel Latibeaudiere deserves huge credit, he and Jay (Fulton) have shown the right attitude.

“When you come out of the team it is hard, they are difficult moments, but they are always involved in every bit of detail and we work together to try and help and explain what we are looking for.

“They have responded magnificently and they are able to put in those performances because they are incredible professionals and they train so diligently and work so hard.”