Fri, May
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#9 - Jason ScotlandRoberto Martinez has warned defences that Swansea City's top-scorer Jason Scotland is still improving.
The Swans boss hailed striker Scotland after his 20th goal of the season earned the Welsh club a point at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Scotland has fired Swansea to the brink of the Championship play-offs and has caught the eye in their FA Cup run.

But Martinez said: "He hasn't hit his peak, in the remaining games we'll see him take his game to another level."

The Trinidad and Tobago international is yet another inspired bargain basement signing from Martinez as the Swansea manager paid Scottish club St Johnstone a nominal fee for the forward powerhouse in May 2007

Scotland, full-back Angel Rangel, midfielder Ferrie Bodde and playmaker Jordi Gomez have all received accolades this season.

And all have been brought in on the cheap by Martinez - or in Gomez's case borrowed from Espanyol.

Scotland scored 29 last season as he helped fire Swansea to the League One title and the 30-year-old's goals in the Championship have given the Swans unexpected play-off hope.

"To score 20 goals at this level is outstanding," Martinez told BBC Sport.

"It is an an amazing story as the progression he has made and the responsibility he takes is fantastic."

Scotland is certainly in red hot form and his goal-scoring display in Swansea's FA Cup giant-killing at holders Portsmouth earned him universal praise.

He has scored 11 goals since the turn of the year - including three against Premier League sides Pompey and Fulham in the FA Cup - but his hold-up play, physical presence and all-round game have also been admired.

And Martinez believes Scotland, whose 16 league goals see him behind Wolves' Sylvan Ebanks Blake and Reading's Kevin Doyle in the Championship goal charts, can still play in the top-flight.

"Jason is not the sort of player who relies on his physical threat to score goals," said the Spaniard.

"He relies on his quality. When you rely on that, the higher you play, around better players, the easier it becomes for you.

"With Jason I have never had doubts he could go into the Premier League and score goals there.

"But Swansea are certainly getting a lot of enjoyment from Jason's football."

The Swans, who targeted Championship consolidation at the start of the season, are two points and two places outside the play-off zone in their first season back in English football's second tier for 24 years.

Martinez is now allowing his players to dream of the Premier League as the Welsh club embark on their season run-in.

Swansea, who have lost just six games all season, face just three play-off contenders Cardiff City, Sheffield United and Bristol City in their final ten games.

But asked if he would be disappointed not to make the play-offs, Martinez said: "No, because 10 months ago we were playing League One football and we've come a long way.

"I feel the squad is stronger now than it was in July. We have learned a lot from our experience.

"Obviously we want to get into the Premier League one day, but we want to be going in a position where we can handle it and we can stay there.

"To do that you need to be good enough and probably if we don't get enough points to get into the play-offs it's because we don't deserve to do that.

"So I wouldn't be disappointed. We will get stronger and better for the season after."