Soccer

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Taylor: Monk is the man

Published 28/03/2014|15:57

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Garry Monk has found wins hard to come by during his short time as Swansea boss

Swansea defender Neil Taylor has given unequivocal backing to rookie head coach Garry Monk as the Welsh club prepare for a key Barclays Premier League encounter against Norwich.

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Monk has overseen a solitary win from 10 games in all competitions since he was put in charge at the Liberty Stadium following Michael Laudrup's managerial exit just over seven weeks ago.

Swansea go into the Canaries clash on Saturday just five points clear of relegation trouble, and there has yet to be an announcement on whether or not former Swans captain Monk will keep the role beyond this season.

But Wales international Taylor has no doubt about Monk's quality as Swansea, who have no fresh injury concerns, look to build on an impressive midweek draw at Arsenal.

"We definitely think he is the right man to take us forward. We are all giving our all for him," Taylor said.

"You can talk about experience, but he has got experience from three or four of the best managers around at the moment - (Roberto) Martinez, (Brendan) Rodgers and (Pablo) Souza. He has learnt from all of them.

"He was captain under a lot of them, and he has been at the club for 10 years. He knows this football club better than anyone."

Victory over Liberty Stadium visitors Norwich would give Swansea much-needed breathing space, and Taylor accepts that points are all that matter at this stage of the campaign.

"It wasn't pretty (against Arsenal), it wasn't really the Swansea way the other night, but we scrapped and gave it our all. We got a good point, and maybe could have got three," he added.

"It will take our quality that we have on the ball and that bit of scrapping. If we can do both, we will be more than a match for all these teams around us.

"The noises have never come out of our camp that we are too good to go down.

"We know we are still a relatively small club in this league, and we have to prove ourselves all over again in the scrap. The last couple of years we haven't been in that scrap, we have been comfortable in mid-table.

"Europe this year has tested us, and it has taken us to the limit. It has done to us what it maybe did to teams like Newcastle last year that were involved in the Europa League. You have to come through it and show your character."

Norwich will have centre-half Michael Turner back in contention for the first time since New Year's Day following a hamstring injury.

On-loan Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez (calf) is also fit again and pressing for a starting place.

Winger Elliott Bennett continues his rehabilitation from a long-term knee injury, while midfielder Leroy Fer (hamstring) is also still recovering.

Norwich are without an away Premier League victory since beating West Brom in early December.

Manager Chris Hughton accepts that must change quickly to avoid heaping too much pressure on the remaining three fixtures in Norfolk.

"It is one we have to address," he said.

"You look at the better days on the road and Stoke and West Brom are the levels we need to get closer to.

"We need to start doing ourselves a favour to relieve some of that pressure on the home games."

Press Association

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