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Soccer-Southampton appoint Swansea boss Martin as new manager


(Reuters) – Southampton have appointed Russell Martin as their new manager on a three-year contract with the former defender leaving his role at Swansea City, the south-coast club said on Wednesday.

Southampton were relegated from the Premier League last season and the 37-year-old Englishman has been tasked with bringing them back to the top flight from the second-tier Championship.

“It’s a privilege to accept this opportunity at Southampton, a club with such a long and rich history,” Martin said.

“My aim is to get this club back where it belongs – in the top flight of English football. I am ready for this challenge and will give everything to achieve this aim and to give the supporters a team that makes them proud.”

Martin took over Swansea ahead of the 2021-22 campaign and led the Welsh club to 15th in his first season but improved to a 10th place finish last season, narrowly missing out on a playoff berth by three points.

Inspired by Barcelona and Manchester City, Martin attempted to replicate a similar style of play at Swansea as they routinely dominated possession in the Championship.

“He is a fantastic fit for what we are trying to achieve, with a strong record of developing and nurturing young, talented players to fulfil their potential and deliver results on the pitch,” Saints’ new director of football Jason Wilcox said.

Martin had a little over a year left on his Swansea contract, having signed a three-year deal in 2021.

“The club also stands firm in our belief that we are owed full compensation for Russell, and we will continue working diligently and strategically to protect the best interests of the club,” Swansea said.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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