Russell Martin's praise for Swansea City's homegrown duo
Russell Martin pointed to his young guns’ endeavour and energy against Brighton as proof that Swansea City’s future is bright.
Martin fielded a starting XI that included seven players who were aged 22 or under at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday night.
And although it was the Premier League hosts who advanced to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, Martin had plenty of reasons to be positive following the performance of his young team.
His starting XI had an average age of 23, and the Swans looked impressive on the south coast despite a defeat inflicted by an Aaron Connelly brace.
Martin’s side created a string of good chances, while Liam Cullen and Korey Smith both struck the crossbar in the second half.
But the Swans boss was happy with how his young team fared, particularly homegrown academy talents Cullen and Brandon Cooper, and felt their performances prove he has strength in depth within his squad.
“There is so much to be positive about,” said Martin. “We have a lot more depth in the squad than when we first came into the building.
“When everyone has an opportunity on the pitch they know they have to make the most of it because we have competition in the squad.
“There are guys who were desperate to make an impression. Brandon Cooper was fantastic on Wednesday night.
“I’m so proud of him. For his age, the detail and intensity he plays at is great. I love him for it.
“Liam Cullen is the same. He was excellent. They are two young guys who are desperate to be here for a long time at the club they love.
“We also had the experienced guys like Jake Bidwell, Jay Fulton, Korey Smith, Liam Walsh – they all put in good shifts.
“But we’re in a better position now from when we first stepped into the building, and that’s encouraging for everyone.”