Belfast Telegraph

Monk thankful for Saints education

Swansea manager Garry Monk admits his Southampton education taught him dedication and loyalty - but he still wants three points from the club which gave him his big break in football.

Monk joined Southampton as a 17-year-old from Torquay and, although he played only 13 games in eight years for the Saints, he insists the solid grounding they gave him helped him to where he is today as the youngest manager in the Barclays Premier League.

"Southampton definitely taught me a lot with the players we had at that time," said the 35-year-old, who was named manager of the month for August.

"We had Matt Le Tissier, Jason Dodd, who was the captain, Francis Benali and older pros like Dan Petrescu, Andrei Kanchelskis, Carlton Palmer, David Hirst and Mark Hughes came in.

"They'd been in and around the game for so long and they were great with me and the younger boys.

"I was in the first-team environment at that point, learning my trade alongside Claus Lundekvam and Dean Richards, and they were really hard on us but fair.

"Three or four of them were at the club for over 10 years and coming up to their testimonial and I ended up going that long here.

"Whether that had an effect I don't know, but I definitely learned loyalty and dedication from those guys.

"Even when they weren't playing at the end of their careers the dedication to their trade and club was amazing and I probably took that on board."

Both Swansea and Southampton have started the season well and Saturday's meeting at the Liberty Stadium is between the third and fourth-placed sides in the Premier League.

But whereas Southampton have scored seven goals in winning their last two games against West Ham and Newcastle, Swansea go into the game on the back of their first defeat of the season - 4-2 at Chelsea.

"No-one likes to lose any game but there were plenty of positives left to take," Monk said.

"What we saw was very good but we need to work on other things, maintain our standards and prolong it for a longer period.

"I've reminded the players in those times when you suffer you have to work that little bit more and do it even better than you did before."

Swansea defender Jordi Amat has been ruled out for six weeks with knee ligament damage and Federico Fernandez, the £8million centre-back signed from Napoli last month, stands by to make his first Premier League start.

"I'm disappointed for Jordi because he's been brilliant for me this season and also did well in pre-season," Monk said.

"He took his opportunity against Man United and I've always said that if you take your opportunity you deserve to keep your place.

"But unfortunately when someone gets injured it's an opportunity for someone else and with Federico, Ashley Williams and Kyle Bartley at the club we've got four good options at centre-back."

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