Everton boss Roberto Martinez hails influence of Garry Monk at Swansea
Published 17/09/2015 | 10:34
Everton boss Roberto Martinez feels no manager has had as big an influence on their club in recent times as his Swansea counterpart Garry Monk.
Monk took charge at the Welsh outfit in February 2014 after Michael Laudrup's departure and three months later was handed a three-year deal with Barclays Premier League survival having been secured.
In 2014-15 the club then achieved their highest-ever finish in the division of eighth - which led to another new contract for Monk - and they are currently in the same spot this term having made a decent start to the campaign, including a 2-1 win over Manchester United.
Martinez played alongside and managed Monk at Swansea.
And the Spaniard said on Thursday ahead Saturday's league clash between Everton and the Swans at the Liberty Stadium: "I'm a big admirer of what Garry Monk has done.
"I don't see another manager who has had such a big influence over the last three seasons - taking different roles, having to stabilise the team, giving them direction, and avoiding relegation.
"He then had a full season and achieved their best-ever finish in the Premier League, and is now following that with a really strong start to this season with different personnel - for me, it has been a very, very impressive job he has done.
"The team play with a strong philosophy, but they are very flexible and always competitive.
"I think in the last game they played at home they deserved to beat Manchester United and that speaks volumes about where Swansea are and where they can go. You feel under Garry there are many good things ahead."
Asked if he still spoke to Monk much, Martinez added: "No, because unfortunately a manager's life is very busy.
"But I have incredible affection and respect for him. Whenever I see him it feels like you've never been out of touch."
Meanwhile, Martinez - whose side are seventh - has reported positive news on the fitness of Seamus Coleman and Muhamed Besic.
Defender Coleman and midfielder Besic came off in Saturday's impressive 3-1 home victory over Chelsea due to hamstring problems, but Martinez said: "Both are reacting really well to treatment. I wouldn't rule any of the two out for the next game."
Defender Bryan Oviedo (knee) is expected to be ready to make his return in Tuesday's Capital One Cup game at Reading, while it remains to be seen exactly when midfielder Darron Gibson's first-team comeback arrives after he featured for the Under-21s on Monday as he stepped up his recovery from a foot problem.
That match, a 1-1 draw with Sunderland, saw Uruguayan forward Leandro Rodriguez score for a second successive under-21s fixture following his move from River Plate Montevideo last month.
And asked on Thursday about the prospect of the 22-year-old featuring for the Everton first-team, Martinez said: ''I've been very impressed with him and I don't expect him to be too far away from being in contention.''