Sport Russell Martin's Jamie Paterson phone call revealed as Swansea City star prepares for Middlesbrough return after summer nightmare
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Russell Martin has revealed Jamie Paterson was the first player he phoned after being appointed as Swansea City boss.
Paterson was a free agent having been released by Bristol City in May and had a trial with Swansea's next opponents Middlesbrough during the summer.
However, after failing to land a contract at the Riverside Stadium, Martin made the 29-year-old the first of his six signings after making the move from MK Dons to south Wales.
It came after Paterson sustained an ankle injury on the first day of his trial with Boro, who were then managed by Neil Warnock.
Martin believes the Swans are now fully benefiting from the regular availability of Paterson, who has eight goals and four assists to his name so far this term.
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"So much of football is about timing and opportunity," the head coach told a press conference on Friday.
"I think he’s fitting in really nicely for us. He was the first guy we called when we took over because we realised his situation. Fortunately the owners supported us and I think he’s probably exceeded a lot of peoples’ expectations.
"We wanted him so badly because we understood the role we wanted him to play and thought he fitted perfectly. So we’re really fortunate he came here and bought into the project. The style of play really appealed to him. I think now even more than ever, he sees the benefit of what we’re doing and how we’re working as a group, how much his team-mates value him and how important he is to them and they are to him.
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"He’s a brilliant character around the place and on the pitch when it’s time to work, he works really hard. That’s why he’s become so important. He’s got no ego at all.
"The discipline he’s shown, and he was getting fit early on as well, has been incredible.
"Hopefully he can keep growing with us. I think the fans really love Pato and I think he feels so accepted here. Whenever you’re trying to perform, if you don’t feel that, it becomes difficult. When you feel that, you feel confident.
"And he’s kept fit which is really important. He’s had a really tough last couple of years with injuries. Hopefully he can maintain that and I think he’s looking forward to every minute he gets on the pitch at the moment."
Swansea look to bounce back from Saturday's 3-2 loss to Reading when they take on Middlesbrough this weekend.
The visitors have no injury concerns ahead of the trip to the north east of England.
"We have everyone fully fit and everyone is raring to go," the head coach added.
"We have had a really good week of training working on some bits and analysing last weekend."
Kick-off at the Riverside Stadium is at 3pm on Saturday.
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A full roundup of the latest Swans news and updatesRussell Martin believes the clarity Jamie Paterson has in his role has helped him thrive at Swansea City.