Garry Monk: Swansea City can cope with Stoke City physicality

Swansea in action at Stoke in 2014
Swansea have yet to win a Premier League game at Stoke City's Britannia Stadium

Garry Monk says Swansea City are more prepared than ever to stand up to Saturday's opponents Stoke City's physical challenge.

Swansea have often found it hard against Stoke's direct style of play.

But Monk believes his players have shown they can cope in physical games this season.

"I've spoken to the players about this and I think the physical side of the game is something we've improved on," Monk said.

Swansea lost 2-1 at Stoke at in October - their third defeat in four Premier League games at the Britannia Stadium.

But at home the Swans have not lost to the Potters in the three meetings since their promotion to English football's top-flight in 2011.

"We've done well on the competing side of it as well as the football, but I wouldn't say we've struggled against Stoke," Monk added.

"I know we haven't had some great results at their place but I remember in my second game as manager we got a good draw up there.

"We could have won that game and easily taken some points from there earlier in the season and at home we've done well against them."

Having guided Swansea to a Premier League club record tally of 50 points, Monk is now targeting a highest finish of eighth in the division.

The Swans are three points above ninth-placed Stoke, a side managed by Welshman Mark Hughes.

"Going back over the years they've been very physical and very direct continuously and that's difficult for any team to play against," Monk added.

"But this season they've played a lot more football than they've done in the past.

"Of course, they've still got that physical side and directness which we'll see in parts of the game against us.

"But I think we've stood up to a lot of tests this season and shown that we're ready to battle and fight and put our bodies on the line."

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