Martinez deserves respect - BR

BY foxsports • August 18, 2011

Martinez, 38, spent five seasons in south Wales, firstly playing for and captaining the club between 2003 and 2006 and then taking the managerial reins in 2007. He guided the club to the League One title and followed that up with an impressive eighth-place finish in the Championship, but he left at the end of the 2008-09 season to take over at Wigan. The manner of Martinez's departure left a bitter taste for many Swansea fans, who took issue with his decision to leave after previously stating he would have to be "forced out" if he were to make an exit. But while Rodgers cannot guarantee a great reception for the former boss, he hopes the supporters will pay tribute to him for the foundations he laid on their ascent to the top flight. "He is a good man and he served the club very well," said Rodgers. "It shows what people think of him here when we are asking two years on what sort of reception he will get. "He made a great contribution to the club. I would say to the supporters to give him a good reception and when the game starts to throw everything behind Swansea. "He obviously felt as a career move it was best for him to move on, and he wasn't leaving for any club - he was leaving for a club he knew very well and who brought him to the country. "He is a terrific part of the story here and I respect that, and I am sure the supporters will respect that. "He did a fantastic job here as a player and a manager. You go back to when he played here, he was captain of the club and he understood the club and where it was at. He was a guy who this club meant a lot to. "When he was here he did fantastic and I am sure he will get a good reception. He laid the foundations here and played a part in the progress of the club." Swansea are looking to bounce back following their opening 4-0 loss at Manchester City, and will be keen to do so as they host the first Premier League game to be played in Wales. And Rodgers knows just how important his side's home form will be given the long trip sides will face. "As a newly-promoted side you need to make your home a fortress. That was important for us last year and it is no different this year," he said. "It will be an historic day and it's one we are looking forward to, but irrespective of who it is we want to pick up our first three points. "We have a wonderful stadium and it will be rocking with 20,000 people in - it will feel more like 40,000." Rodgers also revealed that midfielder Ryan Harley is set to join Brighton on a permanent deal, but the manager is keen to bring in a couple of defenders and another midfielder before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. "We need to make sure we have enough strength and that there is enough depth, and midfield is a key part of our game," said Rodgers. "A lot of the basis of our work on the field is based around midfield and it's about having enough of the different types for us to control the game or win the ball, and it's about having coverage at the back." Of the current squad captain Garry Monk (foot) is again a doubt for Saturday, although he played 90 minutes for the reserves against Bolton on Wednesday night, but left-back Neil Taylor is available to face the Latics following suspension. Rodgers said: "Garry came through and played 90 minutes and we are just monitoring him as his foot is not quite perfect. He has had a recovery day today, he will have a recovery day tomorrow and we will see how he is."

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