Martinez: We've come a long way

08 March 2009 10:33
The Swans had to settle for a third straight draw at the City Ground on Saturday as Lewis McGugan's 76th-minute equaliser for Nottingham Forest cancelled out Jason Scotland's opener, the match ending 1-1. Second-half substitute McGugan headed home Joel Lynch's left-wing cross at the near post to earn the hosts a deserved point. The invention of Jordi Gomez and the poacher's instinct of Scotland had earlier undone the Forest backline. Swansea have now lost just once in 18 league games, but too many draws could undermine their bid for a top-six finish. But asked if he would be disappointed not to make the play-offs, Martinez said: "No, because 10 months ago we were playing League One football and we've come a long way. "I feel the squad is stronger now than it was in July. We have learned a lot from our experience. "Obviously we want to get into the Premier League one day, but we want to be going in a position where we can handle it and we can stay there. "To do that you need to be good enough and probably if we don't get enough points to get into the play-offs it's because we don't deserve to do that. So I wouldn't be disappointed. We will get stronger and better for the season after." Scotland's goal in the 61st minute was one of the highlights of an end-to-end clash in which both sides had chances to win the game. Jordi Gomez's beautiful spooned pass from the edge of the 18-yard box picked out Guillem Bauza's run into the left of the area and he outmuscled his marker before lifting a cross over goalkeeper Paul Smith to the far post where Scotland was on hand to help the ball into the net. "It was a great piece of football," said Martinez. "Jordi Gomez's pass - you don't see many like that at the Championship level and even I am sure the Nottingham Forest fans enjoyed it even though it was against them." Scotland's goals have been key to Swansea's success so far this season, and Martinez has no doubts the Trinidad and Tobago international could cut it in the Barclays Premier League. He added: "Jason is not the sort of player who relies on his physical threat to score goals. He relies on his quality. "When you rely on that, the higher you play, around better players, the easier it becomes for you. "With Jason I have never had doubts he could go into the Premier League and score goals there." The draw for Forest followed wins over two other promotion-chasing sides, Reading and Preston. The outcome could have been even better for Billy Davies' men, who forced Swansea goalkeeper Dorus De Vries into several fine saves. Isaiah Osbourne saw his left-footed effort from 25 yards in the 22nd minute clip the top of the crossbar. And Gary McSheffrey, signed on loan from Birmingham in the week, volleyed agonisingly wide from Paul Anderson's deep cross as he eyed a debut goal. In the second half De Vries tipped Chris Cohen's fierce shot acrobatically over the bar and twice denied former Cardiff man Robert Earnshaw. Davies felt his side did enough to win, saying: "I am interested in looking at the stats because I felt that we had a huge amount of chances on goal. "Playing against a very good side, I can't applaud our players enough because I thought their work-rate was fantastic, their discipline was excellent. "We created chance after chance, which was first class, and we probably deserved to take, in my opinion, three points."

Source: Team_Talk


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