Tuesday 17 July 2018

Swansea manager Garry Monk expects Manchester United to be targeting revenge

Swansea manager Garry Monk is looking for a third successive victory over Manchester United
Swansea manager Garry Monk is looking for a third successive victory over Manchester United

Swansea manager Garry Monk admits revenge will be high on Manchester United's agenda at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Monk masterminded an amazing double over United last season as Swansea became the only opponents Louis van Gaal lost twice to in the Barclays Premier League during his first campaign at Old Trafford.

And Monk accepts it is only human nature that Dutchman van Gaal, who will be in charge of United for the 50th time in South Wales, will be desperate to avenge those shock defeats.

"I am sure it stung them, as it would be if you lost twice to any side," Monk said.

"You use it as motivation, I can think of a number of times where I have done that as a player and a manager against a side you may have lost to before.

"You want to put it right and I am sure it will be part of their motivation.

"We have to be ready for that but we can beat these teams.

"We showed it against Chelsea we can compete against the bigger teams and really show what we can do.

"We are at home, in front of our crowd and we need to make this a fortress, and if we are ready and focused we will give anyone a game here."

Swansea won both games 2-1 last season, spoiling Van Gaal's first game at the United helm before repeating the scoreline at the Liberty Stadium in February.

Yet despite those results and United struggling to recapture the glory days they enjoyed for so long under Sir Alex Ferguson, Monk feels the 20-times English champions remain special opposition.

"It is a transition period for them, but Manchester United will never lose their aura," Monk said.

"Any side that loses someone like Sir Alex Ferguson is going to go through that, whoever came in after him was facing a difficult period.

"The squad he left meant there were a lot of changes to be made for any manager who came in. You are expected to win everything straight away and that was the difficulty.

"They have made another change to Van Gaal, he has had more time to change the squad and now they look a really strong outfit."

United are in third place having taken seven points from their first three games of the season, but largely unimpressive performances have led some pundits to suggest that Swansea are actually favourites to win this game.

But Monk has rejected the favourites' tag, even though he says last term's eighth-placed finish and holding champions Chelsea to a 2-2 draw on the opening day of the season has raised expectations among Swansea supporters.

"We have brought the extra expectation on ourselves with what we have done in the past and we are not looking for any excuses," Monk said.

"It's important to keep raising the expectation levels, but we have to be realistic as well and manage those expectations in a good way.

"We are the underdogs in this game, make no mistake.

"This is Manchester United we are talking about. The squad they have, the money and power they have - they have to be favourites."

Press Association

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