John Hartson hails record-chasing Swansea manager Garry Monk

Garry Monk
Garry Monk played as a defender for clubs including Torquay, Southampton, Barnsley and Swansea before turning to management

Former Wales striker John Hartson has praised Garry Monk for guiding Swansea City to equal their record points total in the Premier League.

Last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Everton took Swansea to 47 points, a mark they last reached in the 2011-12 season.

That progress is all the more remarkable as it is Monk's first full season as a manager, having replaced Michael Laudrup in February 2014.

"I think it's a fantastic achievement, I really do," said Hartson.

"I don't think they've looked back all season under Garry Monk.

"For a novice, somebody who didn't have any experience at all in the managerial hot seat, he's come in and looked as if he's been in the job 10 years.

"To have done as well as he's done is a credit to himself; he's got the players onboard, the crowd love him here and it's a remarkable achievement.

"I'm delighted for him because he's not only turning into a fantastic manager, he's also a very, very nice man.

"I'm confident they'll get to 53 points, this team is capable of doing that... and that's not putting too much pressure on the lads.

"They've had a good season and even if they stay on 47 I'll be delighted, but Garry is the type of character to want to put on and get up to that 50-plus points and they can do it."

Swansea have six games remaining this season, with a trip to Leicester first up on Saturday before matches against Newcastle, Stoke, Arsenal, Manchester City and Crystal Palace follow.

With 18 points still to play for it is almost a certainty that Swansea will set a new points record, while trying to hold onto eighth place as a minimum target.

Bafetimbi Gomis
"Bafetimbi Gomis came into the game with three goals in three games and has looked very good" - John Hartson

Their best finish was ninth in 2012-13 under Laudrup, another record that 36-year-old Monk is threatening to break.

However, Swansea may have to chase their club records without striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who was forced off early against Everton with a hamstring strain.

Swansea are still awaiting the results of a scan on the Frenchman, who has started to find his form following the sale of former first-choice frontman Wilfried Bony to Manchester City in a deal that could eventually be worth £28m.

"It's a blow because Swansea looked short up front [against Everton] - especially when Bony's been sold," added Hartson, 40, who won 51 Wales caps.

"Gomis came into the game with three goals in his last three games and has looked very, very good.

"The one thing he had been lacking was goals. His movement was good, his build-up play was good but he's taken great confidence.

"He actually got injured... from a really good effort that [Everton goalkeeper] Tim Howard parried around the corner - it was a great shot from Gomis.

"That was the one position that Swansea just looked a little bit short, although when they rushed Gylfi Sigurdsson up top and played Jonjo Shelvey in behind him and brought Marvin Emnes on... they still looked a threat to their credit.

"Garry Monk brought in a couple of new faces, he's had to sell one or two players - one or two of his best players.

"Michu went at the start of the season, Wilfried Bony has also been sold; he's brought in the likes of Jack Cork and Kyle Naughton, who unfortunately is out for the season.

"They've got to that record total points and I can't praise Garry enough."

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