Martínez Says Swansea Can Stay In Premier League

Roberto Martínez says Swansea can stay in Premier League like WiganSwansea City's cohesive football is not out of place in the Premier League, but they will need to translate possession into goals if they are to survive at the highest level.

The Welsh club's stylish passing game did justice to an historic occasion – the first Premier League match played outside England – but again they failed to score and they only avoided a second successive defeat because their new goalkeeper, Michel Vorm, saved Ben Watson's penalty in the second half. Wigan Athletic also hit the post and the crossbar.

For both sides the result was disappointing, each knowing this is the sort of fixture they should be winning if they are to stay up. Nevertheless, Roberto Martínez believes both can and will. Wigan's Spanish manager played a major part in Swansea's rise from the lower divisions, taking them into the Championship and establishing them as one of the most attractive teams there before leaving two years ago. Of his old club, he said: "Any side in the Premier League that doesn't give Swansea respect will get hurt.

"I think they are going to be very successful because Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair are a real threat in one-on-one situations. Our concentration needed to be really good to contain them. In the second half we opened up a bit and on any other day we'd have taken at least one of the chances we had. We had to work really hard to impose ourselves, but I thought we handled the occasion well and deserved all three points.

"Swansea have got great talent going forward and they need to carry on playing to that strength. I thought they were outstanding in the first half against Manchester City [when the Swans lost 4-0], and if we hadn't been at our best defensively they would have hurt us."

Of the significance of the result, Martínez said: "Both sides are looking for 40 points [to stay up], so every point towards that tally is massive. We dropped two with that penalty and Michel earned his team one." He added that the Swans could emulate his own team's survival. "We've been in the Premier League seven years now, and nobody gave us a chance of doing that. It shows how hard work and long-term planning can enable you to compete in the best league in the world, and I feel Swansea can do exactly the same."

Powered by article was written by Joe Lovejoy at the Liberty Stadium, for The Guardian on Sunday 21st August 2011 22.59 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch