De Guzman has Monk smiling
Published 29/03/2014 | 20:57
Swansea boss Garry Monk hailed the skill and desire shown by the likes of Jonathan de Guzman and Wilfried Bony after they helped fire his side to a much-needed 3-0 win over Norwich.
The Swans had endured nine matches without victory and found themselves being sucked into the Barclays Premier League relegation battle, but a dominant performance at the Liberty Stadium exorcised some of the demons that had been haunting the Welsh outfit.
Dutchman De Guzman, on-loan from Villarreal and yet to sign a permanent deal, scored a brace and was involved in much of his side's good work - impressing interim manager Monk.
Monk said of his personal man of the match: "He epitomised everything that was good about us today - his movement, his desire to get the ball back when we lost it.
"It would be an important signing for the club, but you obviously have to speak to the player and see how he feels as well."
De Guzman's double was scored in the space of just eight first-half minutes. After half an hour, he struck sweetly from 18 yards after the Norwich defence failed to clear a Jonjo Shelvey cross.
He had brutish but skilful striker Bony to thank for teeing up his second with a sublime drag-over and backheel that pierced the defence, allowing De Guzman to calmly side-foot his finish past the despairing John Ruddy.
Lively winger Wayne Routledge capped off an impressive second-half performance by putting the result beyond doubt when he latched onto a deft Shelvey through-ball and converted.
Of the skills top-scorer Bony showed, Monk said: "For me, it was great for the crowd to see. That's why I brought him off a couple of minutes before (the end), because I thought he needed to feel that appreciation from the crowd for his performance.
"I thought he was magnificent, but I know what he's like. He'll be disappointed he came off with a minute or two minutes to go, because he wants to get that goal himself - that's the way he is.
"But it was good for our crowd to see that other side of him, that creativity side of him. Everything he did today came off.
"It was a good three points. A very important three points. In quite a few games we've played a lot better and got nothing, so it was pleasing.
"Don't get me wrong, in some spells today we were very, very good, some of the creativity we had, the way we passed the ball and the movement, especially for the goals.
"But there were other periods where we weren't so good, which we have to improve on, and that's what I told the players. But in the realms of it all - three goals, three points and a clean sheet - I can't really be complaining."
The emphatic win puts Swansea up to 13th in the table, seven points ahead of their arch rivals Cardiff, who are in the relegation zone.
Norwich, meanwhile, lie 15th and six points from trouble.
Canaries boss Chris Hughton said he came to the Liberty Stadium with a positive formation and mindset, but that his side did not deserve to get anything out of the game.
Away from home, they have picked up only two points from the last 24, and are struggling to break that poor run.
"We find it very difficult away from home just to get that right formula," Hughton said.
"In a game when you're up against a team that's as good a passing team as Swansea are, you can't give them the amount of ball we gave them.
"I thought we conceded three soft goals. They showed great quality with what they have and real pace to get those goals, but it's that balancing act at the moment.
"If we're not good enough on the ball we've got to make sure we're not conceding goals and at the moment, away from home, we're not doing either."