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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Monk keen on Europa League

Published 15/05/2015 | 17:21

Swansea manager Garry Monk says the club do not want to avoid playing in the Europa League
Swansea manager Garry Monk says the club do not want to avoid playing in the Europa League

Swansea manager Garry Monk insists he does not want to avoid the Europa League next season.

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Monk had previously appeared lukewarm on the idea of Swansea appearing in a competition regarded as a poisoned chalice for English clubs, citing the heavy playing and travel demands that the tournament puts on domestic commitments.

But Swansea's shock 1-0 win at Arsenal on Monday has put them in contention for a top-six spot and Monk says the club are keen to repeat their European experience of last season when they qualified for the Europa League as Capital One Cup winners.

"I do not believe this myth that you would try and avoid it," Monk said.

"Why would you try and avoid it? Players want to play in European competitions.

"We had an unbelievable experience in the Europa League last season. Yes, our league form did suffer but that is not enough to put us off."

Monk was actually appointed interim manager at Swansea before the club's last-32 tie with Italian giants Napoli, Michael Laudrup having left the Liberty Stadium only a few weeks earlier.

Swansea fought out a goalless draw at home and were 12 minutes from progressing on the away goals rule before Napoli struck twice late on at the Stadio San Paolo to win 3-1.

"I want to experience that and manage in Europe," said Monk, who has confirmed that talks have opened between himself and the club over a new contract.

"I got a taste over the two legs against Napoli and it was fantastic.

"I would like to taste it again with my own team and put my own stamp on it.

"We are pushing for it and I want to progress with what I am doing here.

"This club is ambitious, which I like, and I want to try and grow here, pushing the squad forward.

"That is why the club have talked about extending the contract and those discussions will go into more detail in the coming days and weeks."

Swansea plan to play in a pre-season tournament in Texas from July 9-19 alongside the likes of Lyon, Malaga, Newcastle and Mexican team Pachuca.

But should they finish seventh and Arsenal win the FA Cup then their first Europa League qualifier would be on July 30, and that could possibly affect their pre-season preparations.

"It is another thing to take into consideration if we do qualify," Monk said.

"Whether it fully affects it depends on where we finish in certain positions, so we will have to see what happens.

"It is not ideal cutting short the players' already short summer but footballers now should understand the days of a 10-month season with two months off have gone.

"It is a 12-month thing now and all players should understand that, even though there are obviously times when they have to get their rest."

Press Association

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