Monk hails Swans character

24th October

Garry Monk hailed hailed his side's show of character after the Swans came from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park. 

A sensational Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick and a late Andre Ayew winner earned the Swans an important three points after Ayew's brother Jordan had opened the scoring for the hosts. 

Following a goalless first period, Villa striker Ayew finished off a well-worked counter-attack by Tim Sherwood's side to give the hosts the lead after brother Andre went desperately close at the other end.

But the Swans rallied and equalised through a trademark Sigurdsson free-kick on 67 minutes, before Ayew snatched victory for Monk's men with three minutes left on the clock, prodding home from Kyle Naughton's inviting ball across goal.

And Monk praised his side for displaying their strength in spirit to battle back from a goal down to win the game.

"We talked about character this week, and the character we showed today was fantastic," said the Swans boss. 

"It was never going to be easy with the circus that went on this week. We had to dig in, and I know my players can do that.

"During the first half, both teams seemed a little edgy, and we needed to use the ball better.

"In the second half we did that. Some of our build-up play was a lot better and the goals we scored were excellent. Overall, we deserved the three points.

"It didn't go quite to plan because we went behind, but I felt we controlled the second half.

"We know what these players are capable of, but we had a five game period where three of our performances weren't good enough.

"It's important we consistently reach our standards. The second half today was much more like what we expect, and the players deserve massive credit for that."

Meanwhile, Monk praised the impact of goal-scorers Sigurdsson and Ayew.

He added: "Sigurdsson has been really close in recent games, so I'm glad he got that goal today. He deserves it, and it was an excellent free-kick.

"And Andre has done fantastic. He's been excellent from day one - in terms of his all-round contribution, not just his goals. He's been a leader."

Aston Villa manager Sherwood, on the other hand, was left disappointed after his side were unable to hold on to their 1-0 lead.

"There's not many highs for us at the moment," said Sherwood. "We didn't deserve to lose the game, but we haven't taken anything from it, which is disappointing.

"We looked tired to be honest. We have to find a team that plays to a consistent level every week."