Routledge relishing reunion with Monk

28th January 2019
First team

Wayne Routledge has paid tribute to Garry Monk’s service to Swansea City as the Birmingham boss returns to the Liberty for the first time since leaving the club.

Three promotions, a League Cup success and a Europa League adventure were the highlights of Monk’s hugely successful ten-year playing career at the Swans, with the centre-back also captaining the club for the vast majority of his time in south west Wales.

On top of the 250-plus appearances he made for the club, Monk also took over as manager following Michael Laudrup’s departure in February 2014.
Having guided the Swans to safety that season, Monk then led the club to it’s best Premier League points tally of 56 and highest league position of eighth.

He would later leave SA1 as the Swans faced a relegation battle, with Monk going on to manager Leeds United, Middlesbrough and current club Birmingham City.

The 39-year-old now lines up in the opposition dug out for the first time as a manager at the Liberty on Tuesday night, and Routledge is relishing seeing his former team-mate, captain and manager once again on familiar ground.

“When I came here in 2011 I felt like he was the leader of the team,” said Routledge. “He knew how to have a joke but, when it came to the games, he was extremely serious and knew what he wanted.

“He was a good influence to have around.

“After a couple of years alongside him, I could see him making that transition into management. He’s turned into a good coach, so he’s gone about it the right way.

“As a manager, he wanted people in the same way that they were going to play on the Saturday. If you did that, he felt like you would be prepared for what would be thrown at you and have the best opportunity of winning.”

The Swans battled bravely to secure a point during a 0-0 draw against the Blues last August.

Just one points separates them and the Blues, who are currently on a run of five games without a win.

Routledge, who will miss the game due to a calf injury, is expecting another tough encounter with Monk’s side.

“It will be a tough game. We know how Garry likes to set up his teams and they will be difficult to beat,” added Routledge.

“They have a certain way of playing and I think they’ll look to come and disrupt our play.

“I think he’s done very well having taken over and implemented his style on proceedings there. He’s got some good players there.

“At the moment, we’re taking each game as it comes and trying to win.

“This year, I feel like we’ve dropped a lot of points that we should have held on to.

“There’s another half of the season to go, so we want to pick up as many points as possible and see where that takes us.”