Pace ace Jefferson Montero is playing with a smile again
15th April 2016
Jefferson Montero admits he's playing with a smile on his face again at Swansea City after emerging from the most difficult period of his career.
The Ecuadorian winger played a starring role in the Swans' recent games against Stoke City and Chelsea, as he haunted full-backs with his rapid pace.
Montero came off the bench against the Potters with the Swans trailing 2-0, but Francesco Guidolin's side emerged from the Britannia Stadium with a point after a spirited finish.
He followed that performance up by assisting Gylfi Sigurdsson for his 11th goal of the season as he made his first league start since Boxing Day as the Swans clinched a first Barclays Premier League win over Chelsea last weekend.
It ended months of frustration for the 26-year-old, who had found himself out of contention in the last few months.
But he's now playing with a spring in his step as the Swans look to mathematically secure their Premier League status with victory over Newcastle United.
"It has been a difficult few months for me," said Montero. "I had started the season very well, but after a difficult period for the team - and when the manager (Garry Monk) left - I was not in the squad either.
"It was frustrating for me because I just wanted to play and do my best to help the team as much as possible.
"But I've spoken with the head coach and he's explained what he wants me to do, and I think I've done that in training and in the recent games.
"I'm very happy with the opportunities I've had to play in the last two games. I really enjoyed it."
The Swans head to the north east knowing victory over Newcastle coupled with Sunderland's failure to beat Norwich City would mathematically secure their top-flight status for another season.
Guidolin's side sit 13 points ahead of third-bottom Sunderland and 15 ahead of Newcastle - with both clubs having played a game less than the Swans.
And Montero is expecting a real test at St James' Park, where Jonjo Shelvey will face his former team-mates for the first time, as Rafael Benitez's side look to boost their chances of avoiding the drop.
"Newcastle are a team with a world-renowned manager and very good players," added Montero.
"It's going to be a very tough game as they need the three points. But we really want to finish the season strongly.
"We are three games unbeaten and we are looking at the clubs above us in the table. We want to catch them, and three points on Saturday would help us do that."
READ MORE . . .
- Guidolin sets new Swans target
- Hollins reflects on his Swans memories
- VIDEO: Swans prepare for Newcastle
- GALLERY: At the training ground
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