I will never give up on Swansea City, says Garry Monk
GARRY Monk has insisted he will not give up on Swansea City without a fight as he battles for a place in Michael Laudrup’s plans.
Laudrup told Swansea’s long-serving club captain he was free to leave the Liberty during pre-season, but a proposed switch to Bristol City fell through because Monk was struggling with a back problem.
Now the 33-year-old is fit again and, with Chico Flores suspended and Kyle Bartley injured, he was drafted in for a first appearance under Laudrup at Crawley in midweek.
Monk had not played since April, but he produced an assured defensive display and capped it off by netting a stoppage-time winner — his first goal in 20 months.
Now Monk is pledging to keep on impressing as he tries to convince Laudrup that he can be an asset.
“I’ll never give up, I’ve never done it from the start and I won’t do it in my time here,” he said.
“I’ve been injured for about five weeks and there’s been speculation about a loan to here, there and everywhere, but my injury dictated things.
“I’m just thankful to be able to get a run-out because I’ve got to get back and fit, build on this game and see where it takes me.
“I’ve said all along I don’t want to leave the club and hopefully I can force my way into the manager’s plans in some capacity in the first-team squad.
“If it’s not to be we’ll have to assess it again in the future, but right now I just want to get fit.”
Monk still has almost two years to run on his Liberty contract, and he has indicated that he will stay patient in his bid to win Laudrup over.
Ashley Williams and Flores, who returns from suspension at Stoke this weekend, are ahead of him in the central defensive pecking order right now, but Monk started ahead of Alan Tate at Crawley.
“We’ll assess it later down the line, perhaps January, perhaps sooner than that, it depends on how good I feel over the next few weeks,” he added.
“If I can get a few weeks’ training under my belt and it looks like I’ve got absolutely no chance then I’ll have to really have a look at it.
“January is probably the more realistic one if I’m not involved at all by then, but hopefully I will be.
“I can only do what I did at Crawley and try to improve in training, to push the boys who are in front of me and see where it takes me.
“I’ll keep pushing, but also know I have to be realistic.
“I’m not saying I should be starting Saturday, but it will be nice to push a bit harder and see where it takes me.
“That’s what I want in my mind, but also being realistic I know it’s down to what the manager wants.”
Laudrup declared himself pleased with Monk, plus the other fringe figures who featured at Crawley, after watching Swansea reach the last 16 of the Capital One Cup.
He said: “It was great that Garry could play 90 minutes.
“He had some cramp at the end, but not enough to stop him jumping for the corner!
“I am happy for him and I am happy for the other players as well because it gives them a good feeling.
“It is a boost for those players as well as the team.”
Monk, meantime, reckons Swansea are in decent shape ahead of the Stoke trip despite their failure to win in their last three Premier League games.
“We were disappointed after Everton because it was our poorest performance in a long time, especially in the first half where we did things we’ve not done for a long, long time,” he added.
“It’s not for a lack of effort ever, but we made some individual mistakes, we didn’t play as much as a team as we can and we got punished by a good side.
“We also realise Everton are in good form at the moment so we can’t get too down about it, it’s about how we react and we reacted well at Crawley.
“Hopefully we can carry that on at Stoke.”
Swansea are continuing to monitor the fitness of Pablo Hernandez ahead of Stoke, with the winger’s knee problem not thought to be too serious.