Monk's relishing top-five battles
12th March 2013
Garry Monk feels the Swans' remaining clashes with the Barclays Premier League's top five provides extra motivation as the club looks to finish the season in style.
Michael Laudrup's side have nine games remaining in what has been an unforgettable campaign so far.
Five of those games are against Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, champions Manchester City and leaders Manchester United - the top five in the Premier League.
And Monk feels it will provide the Swans, who have already beaten Arsenal and Chelsea this season, with added incentive as they look to surpass last season's points tally.
Ninth in the top flight, the Swans host the fifth-placed Gunners at the Liberty on Saturday.
"These games are huge for us," said the Swans skipper. "The target for us now is to get past 47 points.
"We have got the entire top five to play in the remaining games, and we are targeting more scalps.
"There may be talk from outside of the club that we are safe now and don't have a great deal to play for.
"But within this squad, I can tell you that we feel we have a lot to play for.
"We have put in some great performances this season, picked up some excellent results both home and away, and also won the club's first major trophy.
"But if we don't maintain our standards for the remaining nine games then that could take the gloss off our season.
"We are a proud bunch, and if we don't hit the heights with our performances then we can get severely punished - as we saw at Liverpool.
"What we aim to do is finish the season and, although there is a break, we want to build momentum towards pre-season training."
The Swans have experienced mixed fortunes against Arsene Wenger's side this season.
An excellent 2-0 league win at The Emirates in December arrived courtesy of two goals from Michu, while it took a late Danny Graham strike to earn an FA Cup replay at the Liberty in January before Arsenal won the replay.
And Monk is relishing the opportunity of locking horns again with the Gunners as the Swans look to bounce back from last weekend's 2-1 defeat at West Brom.
"We have some extremely tough games coming up," he added. "Arsenal are a really good outfit and we've had some great battles already this season with them.
"But we are really determined to put on a performance for the supporters, especially as it is at the Liberty and in front of our fans, who have been brilliant again for us this season."