Monday 26 September 2016

Magpies are well-prepared - Monk

Published 14/08/2015 | 12:38

Swansea manager Garry Monk, pictured, is going up against Steve McClaren for the first time
Swansea manager Garry Monk, pictured, is going up against Steve McClaren for the first time

Swansea manager Garry Monk feels Newcastle are already benefiting from Steve McClaren's early-summer appointment.

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Monk has never met McClaren, let alone come up against a side managed by the former England boss, but he says he has prepared himself for a tough tactical examination ahead of Newcastle's visit to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Both sides drew their opening Barclays Premier League games - Swansea holding champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Newcastle also sharing four goals against Southampton - and Monk said it is clear that McClaren is already making his mark at St James' Park having brought G eorginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba to Tyneside.

"They've made that change early and he (McClaren) has had a summer to prepare," Monk said.

"Newcastle have always been a big club and attract good players but they've added quality this summer.

"The manager will have a new way of working I'm sure and it's a fresh start for those players.

"I think you saw that in pre-season and in the performance against Southampton so we're expecting a really tough game.

"Steve has been a national manager and coached at the top level as well so you'd expect him to be tactically clever and be able to manipulate the game.

"It will be interesting to see how he reacts to certain situations in the game, how he changes it if it's going good or bad for them and then how you react to that."

Swansea have a better record against Newcastle than any other team since being promoted to the Premier League four years ago.

The Welsh club have won five of their eight meetings with only one defeat, but Monk insists he does not put any store in the fixture's recent history.

"We've just played well in those games," Monk said.

"There's no given right to win any game and I don't look at those statistics, I just look at it is an individual match.

"We've done well in those games in the past but it's a new game, a new season, a new team and a new manager for them.

"They will have a different approach so we have to treat it as an individual game on that merit."

Monk is expecting a quiet end to the transfer window for Swansea having signed strikers Andre Ayew and Eder, defender Franck Tabanou and goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt earlier in the summer.

But he echoed the thoughts of a growing number of managers - Jose Mourinho and Roberto Martinez among them - who have criticised the summer transfer window's closing date almost a month into the campaign.

"You have the summer to prepare and if you get that preparation right you should get players in before the first game of the season," Monk said.

"That's where the cut-off point should be, on that Friday night before the season starts.

"Then it should reopen in January. I think it's ludicrous it goes into the season - just stupidity."

Press Association

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