Belfast Telegraph

Shelvey reaction impresses Monk

Swansea manager Garry Monk believes Jonjo Shelvey has shown the right response after criticising the player in public earlier this season.

Monk took the unusual step of singling out an individual for criticism in December when he told Shelvey to "wise up" and said that he would not tolerate his "laziness" any more.

But Shelvey, who has a reunion with former club Liverpool on Monday night, has flourished in a new-look Swansea formation in recent weeks and was nominated for February's Barclays Premier League player-of-the-month award won by Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

"Jonjo's in good form and had a very good month, he's showing bits of what we know he can do and what we're pushing him to do," Monk said ahead of in-form Liverpool's league visit to the Liberty Stadium.

"You have to look at it as a response [to the criticism] because of his performance levels.

"He's done very well over the last month, but he contributed before that anyway.

"The performances were probably a bit more patchy then, but in the last month his game has been more complete.

"Hopefully he'll continue that and get better because there's a lot more to come from Jonjo.

"It's trying to get that out of him, it's about him maturing because he's still a young player and see what he can do going forward."

Swansea's first game after Monk criticised Shelvey was a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool and the 23-year-old had an unhappy return to Anfield.

Shelvey failed to track Adam Lallana for Liverpool's third goal before heading into his own net and there was even worse to come when he received a retrospective four-game ban for flinging an arm into the face of Emre Can, the Football Association handing out the suspension after an earlier red card at Everton in November.

But Shelvey's fortunes took a turn for the better when he scored a venomous winner at Southampton at the start of February while playing in the number 10 role and he has since sparkled in Monk's new diamond formation.

The once-capped England international shone in back-to-back victories over Manchester United and Burnley and Monk believes the new system suits Shelvey's passing ability and attacking instincts.

"I think it's helped him," Monk said. "He's taken on the challenge really well and it's good to see.

"He's knuckled down this month and shown a real good level of performance, and now Jonjo must make sure he finishes the season as strong as possible.

"He knows it's still a long way to go for him, there's still lot of improvement to come and it's good to see he's pushing himself.

"I know how much Jonjo is fond of Liverpool, he always wants to show he can do well and hopefully he can do that on Monday night."

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