Date:Monday February 9 2009
Roberto Martinez is hoping to extend Swansea City's season this year by reaching a Championship play-off place.
After watching his side cruise to another comfortable win, the Spaniard said the play-off places have to be their target now.
At the start of the season, Martinez and chairman Huw Jenkins were simply concentrating on avoiding relegation, but we exceeded all expectations and now look a good bet to playing a few extra games in May!
The Swans are currently producing automatic promotion form, averaging 2 points a game in the last 8. If we can maintain that until the end of the season, we'll achieve 78 points - enough to finish in the top 6.
Many of us thought our chances of a play-off place were over in November when we lost midfielder Ferrie Bodde for the remainder of the season.
Arguably our best player, Bodde was hugely influential to the way we play but since he got injured against Birmingham, we still have yet to lose a game. When you consider we've also played without the likes of Leon Britton, Darren Pratley and Angel Rangel - 3 regular first teamers, that is some achievement in itself.
Youngster Joe Allen has come in to replace Bodde and has done a superb and mature job, showing no signs of his lack of League experience. Alan Tate has also come in to play out of position at left back.
Our strength in depth has been tested regularly this year and everytime we've passed with flying colours. Darren Pratley is sidelined for 10 weeks and if the last few months is anything to go by, we should cope easily with his absence. Jordi Gomez has shown glimpses of class since his loan move from Espanyol, scoring again on Saturday - a superb free-kick shot from more than 25 yards. Alongside him has been Leon Britton, who we all know is Mr Consistent and Mr Dependable. Joe Allen who I mentioned above has been superb and Nathan Dyer has arrived and given us something completely different on the wing.
Roberto Martinez told the Evening Post:
|'We are going into the last third of the season now and I always said we needed to get as many points as we could by this stage,' |
'We wanted to have 51 by the end of February when we play Charlton.
'That's a target we set when we lost at Charlton in the first game of the season.
'We felt we were not quite ourselves that day — we went into a Premier League environment and we were a little bit apprehensive.
'Our target after that was to be safe by the time we'd played Charlton again and we are now three points short of that with three games to play.
'We can reassess that target now and, when you look at where we are, it has to be the play-offs.
'We have 15 games left including seven massive finals at home.
'We need to get together as a club now — the fans, the board, the staff and the players — and make sure we are ready to give our best in every game we have left.'
Date:Monday February 9 2009
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