Monk: Survival is in our own hands
20th March 2014
Garry Monk is confident he will see a reaction from the Swans this Saturday as they seek a first victory over Everton at Goodison Park (3pm).
Defeat at home to West Brom last weekend left the Swans just four points off the relegation zone, with tricky trips to Everton and Arsenal next on the fixture list.
Following the 2-1 loss to the Baggies, Monk said his side must show their battling qualities if they are to steer clear of the clubs fighting against the drop.
And he underlined his belief that he will get a positive reaction at Goodison Park as the Swans target a first win in all competitions over the Toffees.
"I said after the last game that the players will now know what it's like to fight," said the Swans head coach.
"West Brom have been fighting over the last few months, and you could see their intensity come through in the second half.
"We couldn't match it, which was the strange thing for me.
"The positive thing I took from it is that my team saw another team that is fighting for their lives. Now they now what it feels like.
"I was at Southampton earlier in my career when they were continuously battling relegation. You found out who the boys and men were.
"There have been two 45-minute periods where we have underperformed. Apart from that, their attitude has been spot on.
"It wasn't rocket science what I had to tell them. It was the truth, and they have taken it on board.
"If you have a group who doesn't want to improve and put the work in then you have a problem. But this group is not like that.
"It was important to look back at what we've not done so well in recent games, and that's what we shown the players.
"And when you get questioned there's usually a reaction, and I hope that's the case this weekend.
"For me, the good thing is that it's in our own hands."
The Swans could be boosted by the return of Nathan Dyer and Jonjo Shelvey following injury.
They have been training this week while Michu's 30-minute appearance off the bench last weekend boosted his chances of again featuring.
But Monk, who will again be without Kyle Bartley despite the defender starting back training tomorrow, will monitor the trio in Friday's training session before making his selection.
"You have to be careful in terms of throwing players straight back in," added Monk.
"The majority of players will say they are ready because they want to play, and Michu is certainly no different.
"But it's a case of building him up, and we'll see how he is in training.
"He has the quality to score goals and he's a very important player, but it's important we don't rush him because we want him available for every remaining game and not risk him picking up another injury.
"We will see how training goes tomorrow and see how the lads are and we will then make our team selection."
Monk once again pits his skills against former team-mate and manager Roberto Martinez on Saturday.
Last month's encounter between the sides saw the Toffees come out on top as they claimed a 3-1 victory in the FA Cup, while earlier in the season they triumphed 2-1 at the Liberty in the league.
And Monk had plenty of praise for Martinez. He added: "I have got massive respect for him and he's definitely someone I can look up to.
"From his time here, we knew he would go on and achieve things in football.
"Look at what he has done in the short space of time he has been there. The future looks very bright for Everton.
"He's added the football side of things, and on top of the steely determination they've got from the previous regime it means they are a solid side. They can grind out victories on top of playing football.
"They are very strong and have a very good home record, but we played them in the cup not so long ago and for 60 minutes our game plan went very well.
"Every game is massive now, but we won't look any further than this game. For us, it's about getting three points as soon as possible and hopefully we can get them on Saturday."
Supporters who are travelling to Goodison Park on Saturday via the Wirral are asked to use the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel rather than the Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel.
This is due to resurfacing work on the Kingsway Tunnel.
Further updates can be found on our official club twitter @SwansOfficial along with @Merseytravel