Date:Monday March 9 2009
Swansea City defender Ashley Williams says the team is not feeling the pressure as we look to reach a play-off place.
Instead, the Welsh international believes only our rivals are feeling the pressure as we were never expected to be in this position - competing again at the top end of the table.
Following last year's League One title-winning season, very few people thought the Swans could be successful in their first season in the Championship. Martinez and the squad proved a lot people wrong, impressing a number of opposition managers and pundits with our unique style of passing football.
The aim this year from Chairman Huw Jenkins was simply to avoid an instant return to League One and we've done that with months to spare.
The players all have dreams of playing in the Premiership, and while manager Roberto Martinez says he wouldn't be disappointed if he didn't reach the play-offs this season, why wait another 12 months when we have potentially an outside chance of winning promotion via the play-offs this year?
Some people consider that we may be stronger next season but we might fail to keep Jordi Gomez here, and players like Angel Rangel, Jason Scotland and Ferrie Bodde could all attract Premiership offers.
Ashley Williams told the Evening Post:
'We are not really feeling the pressure. I think it's different for us because no-one expects us to get there anyway.
'We have not been in the play-offs yet and people will probably think it is a fluke that we pass the ball as well as we do.
'It is probably because we have not spent anything like the money anyone else around us has that no-one fancies us.
'If you add up the money spent by Forest and by us, then there is a big difference. That is the case every week.
'The pressure is on the other teams, the Birmingham Citys and all them.
'We have done well, we have not over-achieved and we have confidence in ourselves. Just because we have not arrived for big money doesn't mean we are not good enough.
'It shows it's not all about spending the cash. The gaffer has done a brilliant job getting the right players into the team and the way we play.
'It doesn't feel as if we are under pressure, but the gaffer and team put pressure on ourselves.
Despite drawing our last 3 games, dropping points against Charlton at home and Forest away in particular, Swansea still haven't lost ground on the teams above them as none of our rivals are experiencing consistent form.
'I don't know what is going on in the division. Maybe everyone at the top gets nervous. I'm not too sure what happens, but it is happening regularly. It seems to happen every time that we get a draw everyone around us fails to win.
'But we have to take the positives from this — we had two away games in a week at teams who have spent a lot of money on their squads and we have not lost to them.
'That sets us up nicely for the next two home games, which are must-win. If we win both then I'm sure it will look a bit better for us.'
Date:Monday March 9 2009
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|16. Crystal Palace||28||8||3||17||-19||27|
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