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Watford v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship - Vicarage Road

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Fan Focus: Swansea fan Adam says that Sunderland fans can expect their possession-based identity!

Ahead of Sunderland’s away trip, Matty spoke to Swansea fan Adam Evans to discuss the excellent recent Championship form of Russell Martin’s side!

Photo by Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images

Matthew Crichton: Swansea have won their last three Championship matches and sit 6th in the table, how would you summarise your start for the season?

Adam Evans: Prior to the season beginning, my feelings were very optimistic with the business as had done in the summer.

However, the start of the campaign did not fill me with optimism. It seriously felt like the supporters were becoming very toxic towards Russell Martin, but over the last couple of fixtures, the feeling and emotion has completely changed for the better.

MC: Sunderland fans will be familiar with your manager Russell Martin from his time with MK Dons, how is he viewed by your fanbase?

AE: As I said, a few supporters were ruthless towards him at the start of the season, despite a positive season of rebuilding last campaign.

However, now, after picking four wins in our last five matches, there are many fans, who perhaps are jokingly asking for him to sign a lifelong contract.

Myself, I love the style of play and am more than comfortable being patient to ensure the long-term future of the club and to make sure that we make a return to the Premier League.

Watford FC v Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship
Russell Martin left MK Dons to become manager of Swansea and is now into his second full season in charge.
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

MC: After a heartbreaking defeat at Wembley two seasons ago under Steve Cooper, Swansea finished 15th last season - where do you think the club should be aspiring to finish?

AE: The club has undergone a lot of changes since Steve Cooper, the less said about him the better.

My feeling is the same as every season. As a club, despite the lack of funding we have, we have to aim for the play-offs.

However, as strange as it may sound, I am more than comfortable staying a season or two in the championship. This is to ensure we have enough structure and security within the club, in the hope that we can better our previous seven-year stay in the top-flight.

MC: Dutch forward Joel Piroe scored 22 league goals for Swansea last season, what makes him so deadly in front of goal?

AE: The Dutch forward is a dangerous threat, which is evident by Premier League clubs’ interest in the summer.

He is extremely diverse in the way he plays, as a striker. Piroe is a jack of all trades if you like. He can finish from all sorts of situations.

He is comfortable taking a strike on from outside the area, header, or on the move, which ultimately keeps defenders on their toes constantly.

Swansea City v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship
Piroe has scored four league goals so far this season for Swansea.
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

MC: Swansea re-signed Joe Allen, as well as ex-Dons players Harry Darling and Matthew Sarinola - were you pleased with your summer recruitment overall.

AE: The summer recruitment was very positive, especially with the re-signing of Joe Allen back to his hometown club. It is unfortunate that Allen has endured a few minor injuries since his return, but his presence is no doubt a positive impact, regardless of whether he is on the pitch or not.

Nathan Wood has proved to be an excellent signing so far, and an even more excellent future prospect. Russell Martin’s recruitment has been more than questioned from time to time, but I am more than confident that again, he is somebody that has longevity in mind.

He is a manager with a vision, and Martin knows exactly what he needs to do to secure Swansea’s future.

MC: Aside from the above-mentioned players, which Swansea players will Tony Mowbray’s side have to be wary of?

AE: Matt Grimes is our best playmaker on the pitch by far. He is the most composed player we have on the pitch by far, and has the ability to change the flow of play with one pass.

Ryan Manning is a man on fire at the moment. He has it all. He can attack at pace, and defend on the backfoot. Without a doubt he has been our best player over our last five games. If Sunderland play it down his side then I doubt they will have much success.

Swansea City v Luton Town - Sky Bet Championship
Joe Allen returned to Swansea after spells with both Liverpool and Stoke.
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

MC: Martin has switched from Andy Fisher to Steven Benda so far this season in goal, is that a position you have had difficulty in?

AE: For several seasons, since the Premier League days with Lukasz Fabianski and Michel Vorm, we have struggled with our goalkeepers.

However, Steven Benda has proved his worth over the last couple of games. He is a young goalkeeper who has a lot of promise, and he has proved his quality with recent loan spells with Swindon Town and Peterborough.

For me, he is the best option we have and I am more than happy with that.

MC: In terms of style of play, can we expect the Swansea possession-based football that many will recognise from your Premier League days?

AE: The possession-based style of play is the Swansea way. That is our identity.

At times, it does do us injustice, however, when it works we can outclass our opposition with ease. Martin introduced our style of play at MK Dons, and it did them a world of good.

Our philosophy has remained the same since Roberto Martinez stepped in during our days in League One.

Swansea City v Sunderland - Premier League
Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick in Sunderland’s last away win at the Liberty Stadium.
R during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Sunderland at Liberty Stadium on January 13, 2016 in Swansea, Wales (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

MC: Which eleven players do you think Martin will select?

AE: Predicted 11: Benda, Manning, Darling, Cabango, Wood, Sorinola, Fulton, Grimes, Ntcham, Obafemi, Piroe.

MC: Swansea were a bogey team for Sunderland in the PL era, as we only won two of our 12 meetings - what is your prediction for the final score?

AE: My prediction is a 1-0 Swansea win. We have been on great form away from home recently and coming back to SA1 on the back of that is only a positive.

However, Sunderland are no push over and they cannot be underestimated. Also, the Sunderland support are out of this world, and they can make one heck of a difference.


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