Martinez warns Swansea players

SWANSEA boss Roberto Martinez has warned his players that they need to return from the international break better than before when they take on a 'proper footballing side' in Ipswich Town tomorrow.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

SWANSEA boss Roberto Martinez has warned his players that they need to return from the international break better than before when they take on a 'proper footballing side' in Ipswich Town tomorrow.

The Welsh side were beaten by Crystal Palace last month after four players were on international duty, with influential striker Jason Scotland looking the most affected by the break after being away with Trinidad & Tobago.

Scotland arrives back in England today to meet up with the Swans in London and Martinez expects him and his side to be better against Ipswich tomorrow.

Martinez said: “We need to make sure we learn our lessons from the last international break.

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“We took too long to get back to being ourselves last month.

“We allowed our intensity to drop in the first half hour at Crystal Palace and at this level you get heavily punished if you let that happen.”

After winning 14 and losing just three away from home last season on their way to winning the League One title, Swansea have already been beaten three times on the road in this campaign, Charlton on the opening day and a 4-0 thumping at Reading,as well as the Palace loss.

But they won at Preston before beating high-flying Wolves 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium last time out and Martinez is hoping his side has not lost its rhythm.

He said: “The performance against Wolves and the first half hour at Palace were two extremes.

“It's going to be hard to start where we left off against Wolves, where we had momentum and great tempo in our play.

“You could see a trend developing in the second half at Reading, the Preston game and then Wolves.

“We have to try to get back to that level against Ipswich and, if we can manage that, it will be a sign of the progress we're making.

“It would show that we are more mature as a squad and that would be a great achievement.”

Although Town's only success at home this term has been against reading, Martinez respects the Blues, especially at Portman Road.

He said: “Ipswich are a proper footballing side.

“They have lost only three of their last 28 at home and that record tells you everything about how strong they are.

“They are comfortable in possession, they control games and they are potential Premier League contenders.”

Swansea are likely to be without the injured Andrea Orlandi, while Tom Butler returns from a hamstring injury.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk