Roberto Focused On Result Not Millwall Bench

Friday, 7 March 2008, 8:01
3 mins read

Jackett will bring his Millwall side to Swansea with the ability to stop his successor equalling a club record of nineteen games unbeaten but, in true Roberto style, he is more concerned with the ninety minutes of football as opposed to any meeting with the man who allowed him to leave Swansea less than two years ago.

But you cannot help feeling that should the Swans take the three points tonight, somewhere in the depths of the Liberty, Roberto will allow himself a small style of satisfaction that he has succeeded where the man before him failed.  It could have been so different had Alan Tate or Bayo Akinfenwa scored a penalty at the Millennium Stadium but it is Roberto who is on the verge of taking the Swans to the second tier of English football and receiving all the plaudits that could have been Kennys.  Well, some of them anyway.

Jackett's style of football never endeared himself to the Liberty faithful although most will grudgingly accept that he took the club forward in his three year tenure – a mid table side in League Two was turned into a top end League One side before it became evident that there was nothing there to allow the club to kick on, and citing the lack of support he was receiving, Kenny elected to move on to pastures new.  And so he arrived at Millwall via a spell at Eastlands with Manchester City but for the first time he will now return to the Liberty and I am sure, in the same way Roberto would, should he snatch what seems to be an unlikely victory, he will allow himself a smug smile before returning to South London.

But for Roberto, for now anyway, it is a case of worrying about the game “It’s not going to have any significance at all,” he claims in the Western Mail. “The importance of the three points is bigger than anything else or any other issues. March is a massive, massive month and all the stories relating to Jackett’s return should be secondary to the three points.

“Kenny obviously worked really hard for Swansea City and there is a relationship there. But, as soon as the first whistle goes, the focus must go on the players, the 90 minutes and the three massive points at stake.

“There is no personal issue with Kenny. These things happen in football and you need to move on and make sure that when you jump into your next challenge you are ready.

“Every single player has their own situations and their own stories of what happened to them in their career. It’s no different for us.

“I can understand why people are intrigued. From the outside, it’s a good story. But the importance of the game will put that situation in the shadows.”

He added, “There’s no hard feelings. I understand we have both moved on since then and that’s what you have to do in football.

“We will focus on the job in hand and I’m sure Kenny will do the same. They are in a very difficult situation and I’m sure they will be looking to compete for every point left.”

“Kenny’s presence doesn’t really make it more special,” he explained. “On the other hand, it could make the record harder to achieve.

“It’s very difficult to achieve that sort of record. And, because Kenny is coming back, we could get distracted with things and ruin what could be a fantastic achievement for the players.

“The boys have shown a lot of maturity and responsibility to keep their standards in the league. That’s difficult and, if we can achieve a record like that and keep our position in the table, it shows you how well the boys work on a daily basis. To show that consistency is the hardest thing in professional football.”

He continued, “To be able to do something like that takes a whole season’s effort. When you can achieve a record like that it’s something special. It’s something the players should be very proud of and I’m very proud of them.

“It’s a great achievement, but, if we want to improve as a football club and go to the next level, we need to realise that every point is vital.”

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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