Monk backs Mourinho for boss award
Garry Monk believes Jose Mourinho's tactical expertise sets him apart in the manager of the year stakes - even though the rookie Swansea boss has his own backers to win the end-of-season award.
Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew, another candidate for the award after leading the Eagles from relegation candidates to mid-table safety, suggested Monk should take the prize for his work at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea were tipped for relegation by many pundits at the start of the season but 36-year-old Monk has guided them to the club's best-ever Barclays Premier League points tally and the Welsh club are currently closing in on what would be their highest finish of eighth.
But Monk was unequivocal where his vote was going, saying: "I think Jose Mourinho is without doubt the manager of the year.
"Chelsea have won the League Cup and they are just about to win the league.
"They have been unbelievable and Chelsea are probably the perfect example of how to win games in different ways.
"This is how you win championships, by having different ways to win and different ways to get results."
Chelsea need only beat Palace at home on Sunday to win the club's fourth Premier League title but Mourinho's side have had their critics and have been accused of playing boring football.
But Monk does not subscribe to that theory and says it is the Portuguese manager's tactical knowledge which sets him apart from his contemporaries.
"They have been excellent, by far the best team in the league," Monk said.
"They've got a fantastic squad and you can't tell me (Eden) Hazard, (Diego) Costa and (Cesc) Fabregas are boring to watch because if that's the case I'm not sure what we are expecting to see from football in the future.
"But the tactical side is the reason Mourinho has done what he has done in the game, he is superb in that respect.
"It's by no mistake what Mourinho does, you can see what his sides are trying to do and how he sets them up.
"He's got results and trophies for it playing against the elite teams in the world and you can't help but admire that."
While Mourinho and his Chelsea players are preparing for a Stamford Bridge party this weekend, Monk has his own big occasion to look forward to with Stoke visiting the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Stoke are three points behind Swansea in ninth spot and Monk admits the match has the feel of a title decider with the two sides playing for eighth and what many consider as "the best of the rest" tag outside the top seven who have competed for the European places.
"It has that type of feeling and it needs to be that way," Monk said.
"Finishing eighth will feel like the perfect end to the journey we have been on.
"We wanted to finish in the top 10 and we have got a great chance to consolidate on Saturday, but we have to try and cement ourselves in eighth place."