Russell Martin keen to recruit players ‘at top end of pitch’ after stalemate

Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic sensed a lack of energy about his team in the goalless draw with Swansea.

By Press Association Published: 14 August 2021 - 10.14pm

Russell Martin praised his Swansea side but admitted he would like to add to his attacking options after a goalless Sky Bet Championship draw with Sheffield United.

The Welsh team had 62 per cent possession at the Stadium but had just one shot on target through striker Jamal Lowe.

Swansea head coach Martin is poised to add Manchester United defender Ethan Laird on a season-long loan deal, but he wants further signings.

He said: “I think there were a lot of positives to take. The players played the way we want and we had control.

“We lacked the fitness to do it for 90 minutes and didn’t have as much as we would have liked in the final third, but the players are doing brilliantly. We played a top team full of Premier League experience who will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

“We are asking the players to play in a different way. It’s been a disjoined pre-season and not ideal, but games help. I think we need to add people to help us whether it’s at the top end of the pitch or the bottom.

“I feel for the guys who work up top. We haven’t had time to work with them.

“We’ve had less than two weeks with this team and the focus at the moment is on the guys at the back and in the middle. We still had good moments tonight.”

Both teams sealed their first points of the Championship season in a game of few clear-cut chances.

Sheffield United, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, were disappointing and they also lacked an attacking threat despite boasting a host of talented strikers in their side.

“Ethan was upstairs watching so if he’s driven all the way down to Swansea, I hope that he’s ready to come in,” said Martin.

“He needs a medical and he needs to sit down with us and discuss how it’s going to work. But he’s here and I look forward to seeing him tomorrow morning.

“Then we’ll have a chat and see where it goes from there, but hopefully that’ll be one that gets done.”

David McGoldrick missed United’s best chances and a draw was a fair result. There were just three shots on target combined all game.

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic said: “The result can be seen as a positive. If we can’t score a goal, the best thing we can do is get one point.

“Of course, we can play better than we are right now. We can be more dangerous and create more chances. I’m sure we can improve for the next game. I feel a little bit of a lack of energy in the team.”

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