Russell Martin | Performance gives us plenty to be positive about

22nd September 2021
First team
Brighton away Russell Martin

Russell Martin believes Swansea City can take plenty of positives from their Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Premier League side Brighton.

An Aaron Connolly brace I the first half proved the difference at the Amex Stadium, but that failed to tell the story of an exciting encounter on the south coast.

The Swans created a number of good opportunities but failed to take them, while Liam Cullen and Korey Smith both struck the crossbar after the break.

Martin, who made nine changes to the team that fought back from 3-0 down to claim a point at Luton, was proud with his players’ efforts and feels they can take that into their Championship campaign - starting with Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

“I thought we were excellent for large parts of the game. We started brilliantly and pressed really aggressively and high," said the Swans boss.

“We got a few chances off the back of that, and we should have scored early on because we had some fantastic chances, so that’s frustrating.

“We went a little nervy then. We had seven guys who are 22 or under in the starting XI, and we kicked it away too much and took too many easy options without showing the intensity to really hurt Brighton and play through them.

“That was the frustration at half-time. It came after we had conceded two poor goals, and we’ll go away and analyse that.

“We went a little bit away from what we’re about, but in the second half we asked them to get back to what we’re working on and be brave. That started with Steven Benda, who I thought was great. The decisions he made and the way he played in the second half compared to the first half was brilliant.

“The intensity and amount of chances we created by playing through the press – it was really outstanding at times.

“We had five huge chances inside their box, but we didn’t score. That’s frustrating because if we score then it becomes a different game as we were on top.

“I was frustrated for the guys because they deserved it for their efforts, especially in the second half.

“The lack of fear in the second half – we played with complete courage and conviction in what we want to be – was very pleasing.

“It gives us a lot to be positive about, a lot to look forward to, and a lot to analyse and learn from.”