Monk prepared for "tough" Stoke clash

10th February

Despite making a winning start to his reign as head coach, Garry Monk insists his attention is now on Wednesday's "tough" trip to Stoke.

The Swans produced a superb performance on Saturday to beat rivals Cardiff in a memorable South Wales derby.

That win pushed the side up into the top half of the Premier League table, despite sitting just four points clear of the relegation zone.

Monk's side now face a trip to Stoke on Wednesday, with the Potters just three places below the Swans.

And the 34-year-old knows that his players need to be on top of their game when they head to the Britannia Stadium with Mark Hughes' men having already taken points off Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United this season.

"Everyone talks about their style, but I think they've tweaked it," said Monk. "They have been in this league a long time now, and we're under no illusions about how tough it is going to be.

"It isn't an easy place to go and they will want the points as much as we do. We have to build on Saturday's win and the players are focussed and ready to go.

"But at the same time we can't look beyond the next game and think too far ahead."

After a busy period at the Liberty Stadium that saw Monk take charge following the departure of Michael Laudrup, the new head coach couldn't have wished for a better start to life in the dugout.

A 3-0 home win over Cardiff was only the Swans' second win in eleven league games as attention now turns to Wednesday's clash at Stoke.

And Monk outlined his plans for the weeks ahead following his fantastic start last weekend.

"All I cared about was putting on a performance to be proud of," he said. All the credit goes to the boys, but the fans were fantastic - that atmosphere was incredible.

"It was a tough week but I just want to carry on pushing the principles that we stand for and not let the players relax.

"The players are willing to put the hard work in and take that out onto the pitch."

Meanwhile, Monk confirmed that Jonjo Shelvey should return to action shortly following a hamstring problem, while Michu has missed a couple of days training as the Spaniard continues to recover from a knee complaint.