Monk hails "dominant" second-half display

2nd May 2015

Garry Monk praised his side for their "dominant" second half display after they ran out 2-0 victors over Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans tightened their grip on what would be a best-ever eighth place finish in the Barclays Premier League thanks to second-half goals from Jefferson Montero and Ki Sung-Yueng.

After a goalless first period, Montero scored his first goal for the club in unlikely circumstances - a diving header from Jonjo Shelvey's inviting cross in the 75th minute.

Substitute Ki then wrapped up the points for the hosts, sliding a precise shot past the outstretched Jack Butland, following good work from Shelvey and  Modou Barrow.

The result means the Swans enjoy a six-point cushion in eighth place with three games left to play, and Monk is keen for his side to push on with three games remaining.

"We were good first half but probably playing at 70 per cent - our intensity and the tempo of our passing wasn't quite where it should be," said the Swans boss.

"But the reaction in the second half was what we wanted. We were dominant and had chances to take the lead, and the goals eventually came and quite rightly so. Three points and a clean sheet is a great achievement.

"The key today was consolidating our top ten finish. We're in eighth place now and the result helps us control that spot.

"We have three really tough games coming up, but we want to finish well.

"If we perform like we did in the second half in those games, we will be a handful for anyone."

Monk also was keen to highlight the influence of wingers Montero and Nathan Dyer, as well as another fantastic performance by Shelvey.

"I don't think Jefferson has scored too many with his head before," he added. "He's come back from injury, and he was sharper again this week. Both him and Nathan were excellent today, especially in the second half.

"I thought Jonjo was excellent too. I thought he was our best midfielder last week in terms of managing the game, and in the first half he and Federico were excellent. Everyone needed to raise their game to their level, and we did that."

Meanwhile, Stoke manager Mark Hughes was left disappointed with his side's lack of creativity this afternoon.

"Second half we didn't really ask too many questions of Swansea," said Hughes. "In the first half we were comfortable, but our creative play was a little lacking today.

"It looked like a game that was going to peter out to a 0-0 draw, but Swansea will be delighted to beat us two-nil."