Belfast Telegraph

Monk spurred on by birthday boys

Swansea manager Garry Monk will be at Tottenham instead of his twins' first birthday party on Wednesday - but the present he really wants is three points at White Hart Lane.

Monk joked he was in the doghouse with wife Lexy for missing the celebrations for twin sons Louis and Theo after the Barclays Premier League game was put back 24 hours because of Tottenham's involvement in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday.

"I've had it all in the ear!" said Monk. "The game was moved because they got to the final and my wife was the first to see it.

"But my wife understands my job and has been tremendous about it.

"The twins are having a party on Wednesday so I will have to FaceTime them.

"Maybe I could try it at half-time and get the lads to give them a wave!

"But I am sure we will celebrate when I get back and it would be great to have three points when we do.

"I'm not sure they will appreciate it but, then again, it could be a perfect present."

Swansea have certainly found gifts hard to come by against Spurs who triumphed 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium in December and have actually won the last six games between the two clubs after the first Premier League meeting ended in a draw.

While Swansea have beaten Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United in one competition or another since joining the Premier League elite, Tottenham have remained a bridge too far for the Welsh club.

"We have probably been a bit unlucky to have that record against us but they are a difficult side to play, a good side with quality," Monk said.

"For whatever reason, that's the record but we have had some good games against them.

"So while the stats show what they do, I think the story of the games is that they have been competitive."

Successive wins over Manchester United and Burnley have seen Swansea reach the 40-point mark after 27 games, the fewest amount of matches in which they have achieved that feat.

Two seasons ago Swansea reached 40 points after 28 games but Michael Laudrup's side managed only six more in their final 10 games and Monk does not expect that sort of slide to happen again.

"It's not a concern the players will down tools," Monk said.

"I think you have seen in the last two performances that the focus has been there.

"Where we're at, and the history of where we are, we will win games and lose games.

"That will be the case in the 11 games coming up but our focus is on trying to win as many as possible and get as many points as possible and not just settle for what we have got.

"We are safe which is great, but you want more than that and this group of players want more than that."

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