Garry Monk praises Swans' winning mentality

26th December

Garry Monk praised his side's winning mentality after they held off a late Aston Villa rally to win 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans ensured they ended 2014 at the Liberty on a high, thanks to a sumptuous first-half free-kick by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

The Icelandic international curled home his second direct free-kick of the season to secure all three points for Monk's men.

Despite late pressure from the visitors, Lukasz Fabianski was on hand to deny efforts from Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Swansea's second successive win, following last weekend's victory at Hull, sees the club rise to seventh in the Barclays Premier League.

And Monk felt his team were the deserved winners in tough conditions in SA1.

"We were the better team," said Monk. "We played against a very good Aston Villa team in difficult conditions.

"But the first half we controlled it, we scored the first through a fantastic free-kick but then missed chances to get the second goal and make it more comfortable.  

"As the game drew towards its end, Aston Villa threw everything at us but we defended very well, except for that one chance for Benteke.

"But that's when your goalkeeper comes in. He's done well. He didn't have too much to do throughout the game, but it's those critical saves at the end of the game which is what you need him for. 

"We created very good chances, but we need to be more clinical.

"Of course I want us to be the best we can be, but it's about getting results in this busy period. I think you could see that mentality in our performance."

The only disappointment for Monk this afternoon was the injury to Jefferson Montero, who was forced off midway into the first period.

He added: "We'll have to see about Jefferson. We won't know for the next 24 to 48 hour until we get the scan results. 

"Hopefully it's not too serious because Jeff has been fantastic for us. Coming into a new league, he's been really good. Hopefully he won't be out for too long."

Meanwhile, Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert insisted he was proud of his team's performance despite suffering defeat.

"We did to Swansea what they do to most teams here," said Lambert. "We penned them in, so we can be proud of the performance.

"We go away disappointed to lose but delighted with the way we're playing. Football-wise, the first half and second half, we were excellent. I couldn't ask for anymore, other than the score."