Stoke game the start of 'key period', says Monk
16th October 2015
Garry Monk believes that Monday's home game against Stoke is the start of a 'key period' for his squad.
The Swans welcome Mark Hughes's side to the Liberty Stadium as the Barclays Premier League returns after the recent international break.
Monk's men are currently 11th in the table, just one point ahead of Stoke, who won back-to-back games against Bournemouth and Aston Villa prior to the aforementioned break.
Swansea will also be looking to preserve their unbeaten home record this season and with games against Aston Villa, Arsenal and Norwich on the horizon, Monk says that Monday's televised clash is the start of an important few weeks.
"It's a key period for us now," he said. "Every game is important but we want to get better. All the players have come back from the break fit and in good shape, and it will be great to have this period together ahead of Monday.
"Stoke had an initial slow start to the season but they have picked up in recent weeks. They signed a lot of quality players in the summer and they have a strong squad."
The Swans have a good home record against Stoke, winning five out of the last six meetings in SA1 - including a 2-0 victory back in May.
And following a successful international break of the season for a number of the first-team squad, Monk has called on his players to turn their attention to domestic matters.
"It's important that the players put that to bed now and concentrate on their football here until the summer and Euro 2016," he said. "I've spoken to them and they are fully aware of that.
"We had two good games against Stoke last season and we enjoyed those battles. They have shown their quality in recent weeks and we'll be expecting another tough game on Monday."
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