Martin will not quit – but says Swans must change

Russell Martin says he will not walk away from Swansea City but believes the club must change the way they work in the transfer market.

Martin thought the Championship club would strengthen for a play-off push during the January window but they did not sign a player.

However, Swansea’s head coach insists transfer failings will not affect his commitment to the club.

“I’ve never walked away from anything in my life,” Martin said.

In what he called a gesture to “show how together everyone is despite what’s gone on”, Martin took the unusual step of bringing 17 members of his backroom staff into his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s Championship game with Birmingham City.

“It’s not even crossed my mind [to quit] because of the people sitting behind you and the players, how much I love working with them and how happy our families are here,” he added.

“It’s not even a consideration, but we do have to try to learn from what’s gone on and improve.”

Swansea lined up a string of potential January deals, with the likes of Chiedozie Ogbene, Josh Key, Cody Drameh, Malcolm Ebiowei, Sorba Thomas, Joe Gelhardt, Harry Cornick and Ashley Barnes all in their sights.

Six players left Swansea during the window, with the most notable transfer seeing Michael Obafemi join Burnley in a deal which is likely to be worth up to £4m.

Chief executive Julian Winter and head of football operations Josh Marsh are based in Swansea, but the final say on all transfer decisions lies with the club’s American owners, led by Jason Levien, Steve Kaplan and Jake Silverstein.

Martin said nobody “on the ground” in Wales can be “held accountable” for the failed window.

“That’s not me blaming anyone, that’s me being really honest with you and being really disappointed and frustrated,” Martin said.

“I probably feel the same way as most of the supporters, the players, the staff, I think we’re all disappointed we couldn’t add [players].

“We’d chat for so many hours – me, Josh, Julian, the recruitment team – about what we need. The problem then arises that we don’t have the final say here.

“All of the hours that get put into the work, then we have a bit of ambiguity at the end of it. It’s a huge body of work that takes a lot of energy and time away.

“When I see all of the work that goes into that, and we’re part of that work – the amount of players we met, spoke to and explained to them what we do, the amount of players who agree they’d like to come here – by the time that’s all done, the process gets handed over. There’s a lack of clarity there and a bit of ambiguity.

“If we continue down that process, it’s not good for the club.”

Martin says Swansea must change the recent pattern of signing – or attempting to sign – players at the end of windows.

“The football club in the time I’ve been here, and the time before that probably, makes too many deadline deals and I’m not convinced a huge amount of them will have turned out to be hugely positive,” he added.

“We had the chance to get some things done early in the window, for one reason or another we didn’t.

“There’s not one person I look at in this building and think ‘you could have done more’. I don’t think we could have. I see the hurt that Josh had and the anger Julian felt walking in on Wednesday morning

“I feel sorry for the people that work at the club, I feel sorry for the supporters and the players because we couldn’t quite get them help that they probably needed.

“They look around at all the other clubs in this position and pretty much everyone strengthened.

“I feel disappointed for everyone and I feel a bit frustrated, probably the same as everyone. But we’ve chosen to turn that into energy and fuel for the next three or four months.”

Swansea’s aim going into January was to sign at least one wide player as well as a forward, while the season-ending knee injury suffered last month by Steven Benda meant Martin also wanted a goalkeeper.

Having missed out on numerous targets, Swansea thought they had agreed a deadline-day loan deal for Karlan Grant which would have made the West Brom striker their highest-paid player only for Albion to change their mind at the last minute.

“We were only going to do business on the final day because of Josh, because of his relationship with Karlan Grant, with Carlos Corberan and with the agent, because he played a part in signing Karlan Grant [at Huddersfield],” Martin said.

“We were going to pull a rabbit out of a hat because of him. We didn’t because when you leave things that late it’s really dangerous.

“I don’t know the financial details, that’s not my job, but that wasn’t the plan.

“It wasn’t that we worked on him four weeks, five weeks, three months.

“There were a lot of players who were discussed that were far better value to the club short term, medium term and long term.”

Martin said he and his staff are “so happy working day to day” at Swansea, but added: “I’m not convinced we’ve got a recruitment team and everyone else who are going to be happy to have a window like this again.

“I don’t think we’ll be happy to have window like this again.

“I think the opportunity now for the football club, the owners and everyone here, is to make sure we really improve on this.”

Morgan Whittaker will return to the squad to face Birmingham after Swansea rejected Rangers’ bids for him during January, but midfielder Joe Allen will miss the game after picking up “a knock” in training.

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