Swansea City chief Gary Monk rules out old pals’ act with Norwich City’s Alex Neil
- Credit: PA
Swansea City manager Garry Monk insists there can be no old pals' act with Norwich City counterpart Alex Neil when they clash in this weekend's Premier League tussle at Carrow Road.
The duo played together at Barnsley more than a decade ago but the two youngest top flight bosses are desperate for points after one league win in the last seven. Monk, however, has been hugely impressed by Neil's success at Carrow Road since replacing Neil Adams earlier this year and guiding the Canaries into the Premier League.
'I know Alex really well - I played with him while I was on loan at Barnsley. He's gone on to do exceptionally well,' said Monk. 'He started his managerial career very early, and to go to Norwich and get them promoted in the way that he did. He's done an excellent job.
'I am very happy for him, but hopefully he won't be too happy on Saturday.
'It will be a tough game with the crowd and the situation they are in, but we have to be ready for that, and we've prepared the players for it.
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'There are no easy games in this league, but what's important is we focus on what we are good at, have the courage to play our way and impose ourselves. We've worked in a good way this week, so hopefully we can take that into the game.'
Monk wants his side to convert plenty of positives from recent performances into tangible results. Arsenal triumphed 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium last weekend but Monk preferred to dwell on a stirring first half from his side and the 2-1 away league win at Aston Villa last time out.
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'In our last two games we've shown good periods and shown that we're getting back to what we're good at,' said Monk, speaking to his club's official site. 'I thought against Arsenal, for the first 50 to 60 minutes, we played some of our best football this season. The Aston Villa game showed the determination and quality of our defending, as well as the unity we have here.
'You always have periods during a season where you're not at your best performance levels, but during the last two games I've seen a lot of positives to show that we're coming back to our best level. We understand results are the be all and end all, but if we continue to work as we are doing and show our best level in our next few games, we will see the right results.'