Martinez pleased with 'important' win

, 22 December, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Roberto Martinez was all smiles after today's win at Swansea City, the importance of which was not lost on the Spaniard as he saw his side collect three points away from home for the fourth time this season.

The manager heaped praise on Ross Barkley after his stunning free kick won the game after James McCarthy had been fouled 25 yards from goal with six minutes to go at the Liberty Stadium.

It was a goal that came from "a young man with a lot of quality and a lot talent," as Martinez put it after the game. "We're really enjoying seeing Ross develop into the player he can be."

Ross is growing game by game. He is showing different aspects. He is a quite incredible diamond of English football.

The winning goal, technically, is as good as it gets. A lot has been said about Ross, but it's always an understatement. He's an incredible listener and a young man with a lot of potential. He always comes up with something different to show he can develop. I'm proud of seeing him grow.

The match-winner himself explained that he took advantage of Leighton Baines' absence to have a crack from a set-piece situation.

It was a relief because I had a good chance to score with 20 minutes left but I slipped over," the 20 year-old said. "To see that free-kick go in was a massive bonus. I don't practise free-kicks but, with Leighton Baines not on the pitch, I thought it was my chance to have a go.

Martinez was pleased to get the victory on a ground where only Manchester United and Arsenal had won this season prior to today.

"It was such a difficult game for us, one where everything is against you [in that] you have such a long trip for the last game [before Christmas]," he said. "I was really pleased at the manner in which we played this Swansea side. Everyone knows how good they are in possession and it was a real battle to try and get hold of the ball."

Indeed, the Blues were forced to cede the majority of the possession to their hosts, something they are not accustomed to doing under Martinez, but he was satisfied with the fact that his team "looked a real threat" in the second half and were able to score the goals that secured the points.

"Conceding that late, you feel that it's a real test to see if we have got what is needed to get the three points and I was really happy with the character that we showed, especially on a day when, without being brilliant, we were... able to get the three points."

Martinez went as far as to say that he feels this win tells him more about the squad than, as he put it, the more glamourous victory at Old Trafford earlier this month.

"Today was a day where the concentration had to be there from the first second," he continued, "and to make sure that we stopped this Swansea side from having an impact on the game. I thought that apart from the goal that we conceded which was a little bit soft we played with a real desire and focus to win the game."

Quotes or other material sourced from evertontv

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