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Russell Martin outlines what helped secure Swansea City’s victory at Barnsley

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Swansea City boss Russell Martin believes his side’s ability to tire Barnsley and push them deeper into their own half in the first half gave them the platform to go on and secure a late 2-0 win at Oakwell, as he spoke to the club’s media team after yesterday’s match.

It took until the 74th minute for the away side to open the scoring in South Yorkshire, with Olivier Ntcham getting himself in the right place at the right time to guide Ryan Manning’s cross home in front of the away supporters.

They would double their lead five minutes later, with Jamie Paterson capitalising on some hesitant defending to slot the ball home and make the three points safe for the South Wales outfit.

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This win takes Martin’s side up to ninth place, leapfrogging Nottingham Forest, Luton Town, Millwall and Blackpool after the quartet’s failure to win their respective midweek ties and putting themselves in a strong position despite still being in a transitional phase.

And these three points will come as a relief after an underwhelming first half at Oakwell, failing to create enough clear-cut chances to take the lead but bursting into life after the introduction of Ntcham and Manning midway through the second period.

However, manager Martin has commended his side’s work in the opening 45 – and believes this set the tone for the rest of the match.

He said: “I enjoyed the first half, I know it might not have been that exciting for the neutral, but I felt we were putting a lot of work into their legs and taking energy out of Barnsley as the half wore on and they got deeper and deeper.

“We had a couple of half chances but the message at half-time was to maintain that level of intensity and detail and concentration.

“They did that brilliantly, the amount of courage they showed – even late in the game at 1-0 up where it can be easy to take the easy option and play percentages – was just outstanding.

“I think we learnt a lot from Saturday, and that’s the process and they showed tonight we took everything on board.”

The Verdict:

The ability to tire out the opposition is one major benefit of Swansea’s ability to retain possession – and the fact they showed such bravery away from home against a side energised by a new managerial appointment has to be praised.

This should give them the confidence to stick with their current style of play away at most teams in the Championship, something Martin seems intent on doing having implemented a clear philosophy at the Swansea.com Stadium.

The fact Ntcham and Manning were able to make such an impact when they came on symbolised the Tykes’ fatigue after chasing the ball for much of the game – and this is something the Welsh side can weaponise in the future.

With this, strength in depth will be crucial to make the oppositions’ fatigue pay and this is where the January transfer window could be crucial in adding the players required to push for a top-six spot.

They certainly have the financial capability to make these additions after cashing in on some of their most valuable assets in recent years – and the second-tier side’s hierarchy would be fools not to back such an exciting young manager after a promising start to their 2021/22 campaign.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Russell Martin outlines what helped secure Swansea City’s victory at Barnsley

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