Swansea City boss Russell Martin has told Liverpool loanee Rice Williams that he should be ready to grab his opportunity when the opportunity presents itself.
Williams has found it tough since his summer switch from Anfield, where he played 19 times under Jurgen Klopp in the previous stint.
Hoping to get regular game-time under his belt, Williams headed to South Wales for the season, but injury and the form of others cost him his time.
Ben Cabango has found himself in a similar situation in recent weeks but has started the last two games for Swansea, and Martin called on the Reds youngster to follow the Welshman’s example and take his shot at the goal. Have urged him to be prepared, saying whatever happens he thinks Williams will be the better player thanks to his experience at Landor.
“Rice came straight for us and started, then got hurt and then had a really tough afternoon in Luton, followed by a tough week after facing racist abuse, which is a disgrace,” Martin said Positive 2-0 win over Barnsley on Wednesday night,
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“Since then it has become difficult for them to go inside. The players are in good form. That’s football, that’s life.
“But Rhys understands where we are. He is a fantastic guy and I think whatever happens he will go back to Liverpool a better player for his experience.
“He’s developed more flexibility. And he’s really happy here.
“Yeah, he wants to play more football, but he and his girlfriend both enjoy the field. I think he’s enjoying the club and what we’re trying to do.”
“At this point he has to wait for his opportunity, but sometimes it is football.
“It’s never anything personal. Football is about competition, working hard for your place and then when you get it, especially on this team, you really have to take it.
“Ben Cabango has done that tonight. He has been incredible the last two games and is improving so quickly.
“I’m sure when Rhys gets the chance, he’ll have to be ready to take it. And with the way he trains and approaches, I think he’ll be ready.”
Defensive solidity is something Martin prides himself on, and another clean sheet at Oakwell certainly pleased the head coach. Swansea’s record only emphasizes the challenge placed on Williams’ door.
“I think we are only second in the league behind Bournemouth on that stat,” Martin said when asked about his latest shut-out.
“And that’s really important for us because we’re trying to do something with the ball, but without giving up on the importance of persistence.
“Now we are becoming a difficult team to play against. Blackpool made three shots on Saturday, two from a corner.
“Tonight I think the only shot of note was a free-kick that went over the bar.
“I think we’ve come a long way in three months, but I still think we can get better and better as we go forward.”