Swansea City: Monk still confident despite 'difficult' run of results

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Wales Sport
Garry Monk at a media conference on Thursday, 22 October
Garry Monk was appointed manager following the departure of Michael Laudrup in January 2013

Swansea City manager Garry Monk insists he can cope with the pressure as his side aim to end a six game winless run.

Without victory since beating Manchester United in August, the Swans have slipped to 14th in the Premier League table.

They face second-from-bottom Aston Villa on Saturday, with Monk convinced Swansea can transform their fortunes.

"We are in a difficult moment," he said.

"We're not playing at the performance levels we have [previously] but it's my job as manager and the players' responsibility to come through it.

"No-one puts more pressure on me than myself. This is an opportunity for us to put things right."

Raising the stakes

With Premier League television revenue increasing next season, there is an added incentive for teams to secure their top-flight status this term.

Having seen his side win just one game in this campaign to date, Villa manager Tim Sherwood is believed to be battling to save his job.

Bojan Krkic scores from the spot in Stoke's 1-0 win over Swansea.
Swansea's 1-0 defeat against Stoke City on Monday was their sixth game without a win

The pressure is not as intense on Monk at the moment, though the Swansea boss understands why he and his peers are under scrutiny.

"It's the nature of this league this year," he said.

"All these things are happening because of pressure put on clubs to be in this league next year.

"Pressure is how you perceive it. I don't perceive it as a negative, I see it as an opportunity, a chance to make the most of it."

Creating history

Swansea were reportedly considering appointing a more experienced coach to assist the 36-year-old Monk following the team's recent dip.

But the former Swans centre-back and captain, who guided the club to their best Premier League finish of eighth place last season, dismissed those suggestions.

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"With the staff I have around me, the set-up I have created and myself, we did last season what pretty much no other manager has done at the club by making history. There's no need for anything," Monk added.

"I'm lucky that the chairman's very supportive. He lets me develop myself and develop the staff.

"When I got the job there's was a lot of talk about experience, but I knew what I was capable of.

"That staff helped create history for the club and we'll continue to try and do the same again as we move forward."

Michu celebrates scoring for Swansea
Michu has not played for Swansea since the 1-0 defeat by Hull in April, 2014

Michu not moving - for now

Meanwhile, the future of Swansea's Spanish international forward Michu remains unresolved.

Monk has previously stated the 29-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Napoli, is no longer part of his first-team plans.

The former Rayo Vallecano player could have his Swansea contract terminated and has been linked with a move to Spanish fourth-tier side Langreo, but cannot move until the January transfer window.

"I've not had any update from the chairman - I've not spoken to him about that situation," said Monk.

"I believe I'm right that Michu can't sign for another club anywhere until January. It's just speculation. It's not been my focus."