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Martinez backs Monk to save Swans

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes Swansea counterpart Garry Monk should not be judged on his brief record as a fledgling boss.

The 35-year-old former club captain was put in interim charge when Michael Laudrup was sacked in early February despite having no previous experience.

In his first month in charge he had to balance the demands of the FA Cup, Europa League and Premier League.

Despite exit from both cup competitions, their league form has not improved – and Monk has won just once – his first game against south Wales rivals Cardiff – as the side have picked up five points from as many matches leaving them perilously close to the relegation zone.

Martinez admits he has a soft spot for his former club and has backed Monk to keep them in the top flight.

"I have been very impressed with Garry Monk and it would be a big mistake to try to assess his time just by the results," said the Everton boss.

"Some of the performances have been impressive, especially the two games against Napoli in the Europa League where he brought a mature performance from the players.

"Everyone has had a good reaction and I know it will be a really tough game for us on Saturday," he added.

While some Swansea fans may still not have forgiven Martinez for leaving for Wigan, then a Premier League side, in 2009 the Spaniard retains an affinity with the club who gave him his first managerial job.

"I want Swansea to do well," he said. "The club's philosophy will give them success and they have strong players who have the mentality to get them the results they need."


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