Millwall boss on Russell Martin’s Swansea evolution – plus Lions striker fit despite needing stitches

MILLWALL’S Gary Rowett believes Swansea boss Russell Martin is still evolving his side ahead of their meeting at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Martin only took over from Steve Cooper six days before the start of the Championship season and the Swans have yet to win a league game at home.

Swansea are 20th in the table with five points from six games.

Last season, Martin’s MK Dons had the third highest average possession of any team in Europe.

The Swans had almost 70 per cent of the ball last Saturday but couldn’t break down Hull City in their 0-0 draw.

Rowett has experience of going into clubs and trying to change the playing style.

“It’s difficult,” Rowett said. “I’ve had it myself at Burton, Birmingham and Millwall. We’ve had some good success in going in and I think you change the psychology early on rather than necessarily the work on the playing style.

“Of course that comes but it takes a little bit more time.

“They have a very specific way that they want to play, it’s a very possession-based style of play.

“In my opinion, you make small adjustments initially and then more detail follows the more you work with the players and the more you see the players work and how they fare.

“It’s not easy but he’s been there a little while now and their style will have evolved from the first game to the time we play them.”

Meanwhile, Lions centre-forward Matt Smith is fit for the game after he suffered a cut to his head in the 1-1 draw at West Brom on Saturday.

Rowett said: “He needed stitches but he carried on. He’s a tough cookie, Matt, I don’t think it was the first time he’d had a head injury.

“I think it was a little collision with Sav [George Saville]. There was certainly no concussion involved and he got bandaged up straightaway. There’s no issue at all with that.”

Image: Millwall FC 

John Kelly