Monk looks ahead to 'defining' weekend
13th March 2014
Garry Monk insists Saturday's clash with West Bromwich Albion could be one of the club's defining games of the Premier League season.
The Swans welcome Albion to the Liberty Stadium with both sides looking for crucial points in their bid for survival.
Pepe Mel is yet to taste victory since taking over at the Hawthorns back in January - while the Baggies have won just once in their last 18 league games.
However, the Swans - without a win in six games in all competitions - will be champing at the bit following a two-week break.
And head coach Monk believes Saturday's game could be a definitive one come the end of the season.
"You get defining games throughout season, and this is definitely one of them," he said. "We want the three points and so do West Brom.
"It's a good game, a big game, but we're in front of our home fans and it is important that we put on a performance to get the win.
"They (West Brom) are under pressure and at the wrong end of the table, while in recent years they have been at the other end.
"They have got a new manager and I've looked at their recent games and we'll tailor our good plan around that."
West Brom suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United last weekend as they slipped to 17th in the Premier League table.
The Baggies are level on points with 18th-placed Cardiff heading into the weekend's fixtures, while the Swans are four points clear of danger.
And Monk insists the squad will be in good shape after a two-week gap since their last league game against Crystal Palace at the Liberty.
"Our performance levels have been fantastic recently," he said. "We had seven games in 21 days so the break was a chance for the players to relax.
"We've had a really good period, the boys have trained well and are up for the game on Saturday.
"We had a few days off after the Crystal Palace game then we started to work very hard again and put in some more constructive training sessions."
Meanwhile, Spanish forward Michu returned to full training this week after a lengthy absence through injury.
And Monk says last season's top scorer is on course for a return, but refused to be drawn on whether he will be involved this weekend.
"He's trained well this week," he said. "We've been assessing him every day and we tailor it to suit him.
"But he's been great and looked sharp today and we'll make a judgement on him tomorrow.
"It's probably a week too early for Jonjo (Shelvey) and Kyle (Bartley) is out for another couple of weeks. Pablo has also trained all week so we'll assess him as well."