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Swansea City transfer headlines as Cyrus Christie says things happened at Fulham he can’t talk about and O’Riley reveals transfer trigger

Your Swansea City headlines for Friday, March 25.

Christie rediscovers love for the game

Cyrus Christie says he fell out of love with football prior to his switch from Fulham to Swansea City.

The Republic of Ireland international made just one appearance for the Cottagers this season before joining the Swans on loan during the January transfer window. He swiftly established himself as a key figure under Russell Martin who is eager to see Christie remain in south Wales beyond this summer.

Christie’s Fulham contract expires in June, meaning he will be a free agent. And the 29-year-old says he is in a better place both on and off the field as a result of his transfer to Swansea.

READ MORE:Swansea City plan scouting mission during international break

“It’s made me start enjoying football again. At times, it’s been tough over the last couple of seasons,” he said. “I’ve come here, I enjoy it, I really love the way we play.

“It’s not just me, my family enjoy it which is key. That’s the best thing, when you enjoy it, you probably play your best football.”

And when asked if he had fallen out of love with the game prior to joining the Swans, Christie responded: “I’d say so, to be honest. It’s tough.

“At Fulham, certain things happened which I’m obviously not allowed to talk about, and it can be quite demoralising. You’re just going in to train and you’re going home unhappy that you’re not playing because ultimately that’s what you come into the game to do, you do it for the love of the game.

“If I’m honest, I probably lost my way a bit in terms of that because things weren’t going right. I always knew I would bounce back, it was just about finding the right opportunity. I’ve had to be patient, and I’ve come here and discovered the love of the game again. It’s been thoroughly enjoyable.

“When you’re watching everyone play, enjoying themselves and you’re having to come in and train on your own, run up and down, that is tough. You’re just siting around hoping and waiting for your opportunity.

“At times you feel like it should be happening and it doesn’t for whatever reason, and that can make it more frustrating. You can be caught in your own thoughts, you get a lot of time to think and sometimes that can be really dangerous.”

Would you like to see Cyrus Christie sign a permanent deal with the Swans? Have your say in the comments section below.

O’Riley’s Celtic relief

Matt O’Riley has revealed Celtic triggered the release clause in his MK Dons contract just two days before it expired.

The midfielder joined the Scottish giants during the January transfer window and has made a fine start to life under Ange Postecoglou. Prior to his move to Glasgow, O’Riley was the subject of fierce interest from Swansea.

O’Riley played under current Swans boss Russell Martin at MK Dons and was thought to be keen on re-uniting himself with the head coach in south Wales. However, Swansea did not have the funds to finance a deal, with Celtic taking advantage by paying £1.5m to sign the 21-year-old. And the youngster believes a move to Scotland may not have materialised had Celtic waited until after the release clause expired.

“I think I talked to the coach [Postecoglou] for 10 minutes and then I felt ready,” he told bold.dk. “He told me all the right things, so one day went by and then it was almost in place.

“They redeemed my buy-out clause two days before it expired. It made it all a little easier, because if it had expired, MK Dons could have demanded a lot of money for me, and then it might not have happened.”

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Martin’s message ahead of derby clash

Swansea go in search of a first ever South Wales derby double when they face Cardiff City after the international break.

The Swans thumped their bitter rivals 3-0 on home soil earlier this season and will make history if they emerge victorious in the meeting between the sides at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, April 2. However, the Bluebirds go into the match in far better shape than they did last time out having significantly improved under Steve Morison.

Ahead of the game in the Welsh capital, Russell Martin stated he would do all in his power to ensure his players are emotionally prepared for what promises to be a feisty encounter.

“We could make people very happy. We know the scale of the game and how much it means to the people in the stands,” said the 36-year-old. “We’ll have to put it into emotional context for the boys [during the international break] because it’s really important they understand, which they will and they do. They’re an intelligent bunch.

“They need to understand what it’s going to take to go there and try to win because there’s a reason no-one’s done it before. It’s just an incredible stat. I was amazed by it when I found out.

“We have an opportunity to do it. We’ve won the first one which means we can go there with less pressure than maybe they go into the game with. So we’ll see what happens.”

Wales watch as Page lauds boyhood Swan

Rob Page lavished praise on former Swan Connor Roberts following his impressive showing for Wales against Austria.

The Burnley defender played the entirety of the contest at Cardiff City Stadium and played a significant role in limiting the impact of the away side’s talismanic captain David Alaba. It comes amid a significant upturn in club form for Roberts who struggled to make an impact early on after leaving Swansea for the Clarets due to a combination of illness and the form of others.

And Page admits Wales are blessed to have the Neath-born star in their ranks.

“I’m glad you’ve mentioned him, he does go unnoticed,” said the Wales boss. “The work huge puts in, he’s one of the most athletic full-backs or wing-backs I’ve ever worked with and seen.

“The distance he covers is phenomenal. I think against Belarus in November, he could have had a hat-trick. For what he brings to the team, he’s a model professional. He’s a great lad and trains as he plays. He’s very competitive and he’s a great asset to have in our squad.”

Meanwhile, Cameron Congreve netted twice as Wales’ Under-18s secured a 4-2 win over Finland. It capped off a remarkable month for the youngster who recently signed his first professional deal with the Swans before being handed his senior debut at Blackpool just two days later.

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