Monk: I have more to prove than LVG
Published 14/08/2014 | 23:55
Garry Monk aims to spoil Louis van Gaal's opening-day Old Trafford party by proving that both he and Swansea belong in the Barclays Premier League.
All the attention will be on Van Gaal for the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday as the former Holland manager and Champions League winner takes charge of Manchester United in the league for the first time.
But Monk insists he has to prove himself more than his celebrated counterpart after he was finally appointed on a permanent basis in May following three months as interim boss in the wake of Michael Laudrup's departure.
"I think I probably need to prove myself a bit more than he does after the career he has had," Monk told his pre-match press conference
"He is in a different situation to me. He is at one of the biggest clubs in the world and at that level the importance of winning trophies is massive so that is a different type of pressure.
"My pressure comes from my experience being questioned, and that is a different type of question. "
Former club captain Monk steered Swansea to safety at the end of last season but it was often a struggle for the 35-year-old and Premier League status was only secured in the closing weeks of the campaign.
Since then Swansea have sold goalkeeper Michel Vorm and Ben Davies to Tottenham and the Spanish trio of Michu, Chico Flores and Pablo Hernandez have all departed.
Lukasz Fabianski, Bafetimbi Gomis, Jefferson Montero and Marvin Emnes have been recruited, but Monk admits he could do with "two or three players" before the transfer window closes on September 1.
Monk takes no notice, though, of the pundits who claim Swansea will struggle this term.
"We've been written off pretty much every year since I've been at the club," he said.
"It's no difference to us - it's water off a duck's back.
"No-one will put me under more pressure than myself.
"I know what I want to do and where I want things to go.
"If things go as planned, then great. If it doesn't, then the obvious is the obvious.
"But in terms of what's been said, they don't see what we do every day."
Whatever happens at Old Trafford, Monk is hoping to spend some time with the Dutchman after the game, with both men at the opposite ends of the management scale when it comes to experience.
"It would be nice to speak with him after the game," Monk said.
"I have done that a lot with some of the managers we have come up against.
"I have had some good chats and, if the opportunity is there, I will take it.
"But my focus is on the game and it doesn't matter what team they play - if we are not quite at it then we are going to be in trouble."