Focus on the team, Garry Monk urges Swansea City supporters
GARRY Monk has paid tribute to Brendan Rodgers’s “monumental” spell as Swansea City boss — and urged fans to focus on backing their team at Liverpool tonight.
Swansea face Rodgers for the first time since he quit the Liberty to take the Anfield reins in the summer in the Capital One Cup fourth round.
And Monk hopes Swansea’s supporters will channel their energies into helping Michael Laudrup’s men chalk up a landmark result rather than concentrating on the man in the home dugout.
“Whether anyone boos is out of our hands — it’s nothing to do with the players, it’s the fans’ choice,” Swansea’s club captain said.
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“But you are talking about a small minority who will do it and I can’t really see it happening.
“Whatever happens, we are there to win a game at the end of the day, and all that matters is what we do for Swansea City.
“If the fans want to make their views known that’s up to them, but the main thing I would say to them is to back the team from start to finish.
“Whatever they do before or after the game is up to them, but for 90 minutes or whatever it may be we hope they will focus on the team.”
Monk has criticised Roberto Martinez in the past after he walked out on Swansea to take charge at Wigan three and a half years ago.
But he argues it would be unfair to attack Rodgers over the nature of his Swansea exit.
“It was a bit different from Roberto because Brendan never promised anything from the outset,” Monk added.
“Roberto deserves massive respect for starting the philosophy that he did at the club.
“I always say that all the managers deserve respect, and that the booing and giving stick is just part of football.
“They know that, and you are talking about a small minority really who give out the serious banter.
“Everyone appreciates what Roberto did, it was just the words that he used on certain occasions, preaching a lot and then not really following what he preached. That’s what let him down.
“With Brendan, he never promised anything and I don’t think you can begrudge someone the chance to join a club of Liverpool’s size and history.
“I think 99 per cent of the fans will realise that as well but, when you’ve had a successful manager and they leave you when things are going well, it’s pretty hard to take for fans and players.
“But that’s part of football — you have to get on with it.
“Brendan deserves massive credit for what he did here because it was a monumental effort, but we’ve shown numerous times we can get on with it and we are doing it again under the new manager.
“We are progressing well again.”
Monk, who scored a late winner in the previous round at Crawley, hopes to play some part again tonight with Laudrup expected to make a handful of changes.
Two alterations to the side which began the unfortunate defeat at Manchester City last weekend are enforced, with Angel Rangel suspended and Michel Vorm out injured.
Liverpool are expected to rest a number of their senior stars, and Monk insists Swansea have the ability to chalk up what would be only a second victory in 17 visits to the home of the Reds.
“Last season we drew 0-0 up there and Mark Gower had a shot in the last couple of minutes — we were that close to getting a win,” he pointed out.
“If we had won that game no-one would have begrudged us the victory.
“We realise what a difficult game it will be tonight.
“We’re up against a fantastic club with a great history and it’s never going to be easy at Anfield.
“But if we play like we did at Manchester City, we will have a great chance.