Monk: We were magnificent

20th February 2014
Garry Monk expressed his delight at his side's performance despite their 0-0 draw with Napoli in the Europa League.

After a bright start by the visitors, the Swans dominated possession throughout their Round of 32 first leg tie at the Liberty but were unable to find the net.

Wilfried Bony went close on numerous occasions, while substitute goalkeeper Pepe Reina made two fantastic stops to deny Wayne Routledge and Ashley Williams from giving the Swans a first leg advantage.

Throughout the 90 minutes, Monk's side were rarely threatened, and despite not being able to give themselves a lead going into next week's second leg in Naples, Monk was pleased with his side's display.


"We should have had more, but what a performance from us," said Monk. "They are one of the top teams in Europe. 

"I said to the players afterwards 'wow'. If they can do that against them, then they can do it against anyone. It's a great confidence boost for the players.

"The only disappointment is we didn't get a goal. We deserved at least a couple of goals.

"There was some fantastic goalkeeping and maybe we needed to be a bit more clinical, but apart from that, the boys were magnificent.

"I said before the game, we wanted to put in a performance in that we could be proud of. I think the players more than did that tonight.

"The crowd were fantastic again. I said that this is us at our best when we're here - this can be a difficult place for anyone to come to. 

"I said to the players afterwards that they could beat a number of top teams here. We've done it before and we need to get back to that.

"We started the game well, shown our intention from the start. It's key in any game, but especially today. The crowd were on it straight from the start.

"We kind of needed a goal, because it gives you that edge, going into the second leg. 

"But we have nothing to lose when we go there. The pressure is on them.

"The good thing is they have to win. We will go over there and compete with them. It will be a great experience for everyone at the club. 

"To be in with a shout, that's all we can ask for in this competition."



Meanwhile, Napoli boss Rafa Benitez felt tonight's result was a good result for his side and credited Swansea for their impressive performance.

"I think a draw is a good result," said the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager. "It was not easy against Swansea, who play the ball around well and are fast on the flanks. 

"We knew they could play high tempo with possession. It's a different intensity to Italian football, which is what I tried to explain to my players. 

"We did well during the first ten minutes, we had a couple of chances which could have changed things. 

"In the end, we have to be happy because they played very well. We have to give Swansea credit for that."