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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
Grilling the chief Swan
Gareth Cartwright
By Gareth Cartwright
Rookie reporter, BBC News and Sport On Tour, Swansea

Gareth Cartwright
Gareth Cartwright interviews Swansea manager Roberto Martinez
In his first full season as manager of Swansea City, Roberto Martinez is optimistic about the future of the club and places a strong emphasis on hard work, commitment and home-grown players.

The weight of expectation and pressure put on the 34-year-old by outside parties does not seem to phase the confident Spanish manager.

Instead Martinez chooses to place faith in the squad that he is building and only sees success for Swansea in the years to come.

"The expectations have been here long before bookmakers started making statements. In a way we take it as a compliment," Martinez said.

"The standards we set ourselves are hugely demanding and in that respect that's a pressure we put on ourselves."

A lot of fans still look back to the glory days of Swansea's last appearance in the top flight 25 years ago.

So does the manager think a club like Swansea can still realistically gain promotion to and survive in the Premiership today?

I can guarantee you there's not going to be any panic buys just because we need to make a deadline
Roberto Martinez

"That's our aim, I've said it all along," Martinez added. "I don't know how long it's going to take us but the work we're doing on a daily basis is aimed at getting us into the Premiership.

"Of course we need to get into the Championship first.

"Managers and players they come and go, but whoever is on the board at Swansea City they need to have that mentality."

Swansea as a club appear to have handled the swift departure of star striker Lee Trundle, in a 1m move to Bristol City, well.

With Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins pledging the entire profits from the sale to go towards strengthening the squad, manager Martinez has a lot of income at his disposal.

But he promises to spend the money from the sale of Trundle wisely:

"I can guarantee you there's not going to be any panic buys just because we need to make a deadline," Martinez said.

"I've said all along my concentration and focus is on the players we've already got in this squad."

You have to have the patience that is required to develop the players in the youth sides
Roberto Martinez

Fellow countryman Rafael Benitez, the Liverpool manager, has allowed young wing Paul Anderson to join Swansea on a season-long loan this season.

But Martinez laughed at the suggestion that Benitez might be persuaded to send Liverpool captain and star England midfielder Steven Gerrard to the Liberty Stadium as well.

"I don't think he'd be too happy about that one!" Martinez said.

But he drew comparisons between the Swansea squad and the Liverpool dressing room, which both have a core of locally produced players who echo the fans' passion for the club.

"I think it's vital. You have to have the patience that is required to develop the players in the youth sides," Martinez said.

"At the moment we've got a group of seven or eight players and slowly they're going to break the gap into the first team. They are all Welsh talent and I'm looking forward to the future."

In spite of his emphasis on home-grown talent, there is one thing he is willing to import.

The manager admitted to being a big fan of Nocilla (a Spanish white chocolate spread) and I think he may even have agreed to bring back some for my wife from his next trip home to Spain. Just to add to the pressure on him...

SEE ALSO
Talent at Liberty to grow
17 Aug 07 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales


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