Garry Monk: Let's make the Liberty a fortress
28th August 2014
Garry Monk has urged his side to make the Liberty Stadium a fortress this season as they prepare to face West Brom on Saturday (3pm).
The Swans welcome the visit of the Baggies on the back of a flying start to the new season, having taken maximum points from their first two fixtures of the Barclays Premier League campaign. After beating Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford on the opening day, Monk's men followed up with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at home to Burnley last weekend.
And while acknowledging his side's positive start, Monk is aiming for further improvement to ensure the Liberty is a place that no side wants to visit this season.
"We know what we need to improve on and the mistakes we need to cut out," said the Swans boss.
"We've spoken about improving our home form to make the Liberty a fortress, which would allow us to go away with the confidence behind us.
"We can pass the ball a lot better than we have in certain periods, and we will improve.
"But I can't grumble too much about the performances so far.
"The performances we've had have been team efforts. Everyone has put a shift in and worked hard for each other, which is what I want.
"For me, the fundamentals are hard work and attitude - they are the top two values I have. You need those values first as the blocks to build on.
"The pleasing thing is that we've shown them in abundance so far."
Saturday's opponents West Brom travel to SA1 on the back of a solid start to the new campaign.
A 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland on the opening weekend was followed up by another well-earned 0-0 draw at Southampton last Saturday.
And as he prepares to go up against West Brom boss Alan Irvine for the first time, Monk is expecting another stern test for his side.
"It's going to be tough because there's no easy game," said Monk. "Burnley proved that last week.
"We understand what a good team West Brom are and what an experienced squad they have.
"They play the game the right way and pass the ball well. We lost to them here last year, which is something we'd like to put right.
"I met Alan [Irvine] at the managers' meeting the other day. He's a good guy and an experienced coach, who knows football inside out. We know it's going to be another very tough test for us.
"We will prepare as much as possible. The boys have been very focused and have shown a very good attitude. We will be looking to put on a performance on Saturday."
Meanwhile, Monk was also keen to express his delight with the news that midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng had signed a new contract with the Swans.
The South Korean international put pen-to-paper on a new four-year deal on Thursday, which secures his future with the club until 2018.
"Ki's an important player for us," added Monk. "He's a very good footballer, who fits in with the way I want to play the game, and also a very good person to have around the group.
"It was something I wanted to make sure was done as soon as possible, and thankfully Ki feels settled here."