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Garry Monk's rejuvenated Swansea City can stun Napoli, says Everton boss Roberto Martinez

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 17, 2014

Passions run high towards the end of yesterday's FA Cup tie.

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ROBERTO Martinez believes Swansea City can stun Napoli in the Europa League — because his old club have been "galvanised" by Garry Monk.

Martinez inflicted the first defeat of Monk's Swansea reign at Goodison Park yesterday as Everton progressed to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

But Swansea's former captain and manager has high hopes for what lies ahead at the Liberty with Monk at the helm.

"From what I see Swansea have been galvanised, that's the truth," Martinez said.

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"I've seen the last two games, and I also saw the West Ham game, when Swansea produced a bit of a pedestrian performance.

"Since Garry Monk took over everyone is fired up. You have people with a point to prove — here we saw two foreign players feeling unhappy with a couple of actions (by Everton players) when maybe they have not shown that before.

"You can see there is a desire to do well and to perform well.

"And we all know this Swansea side is good enough to achieve big things this season, in the Europa League and in the Premier League.

"With 12 games to go in the league I think the future is very, very bright."

Swansea face Italian giants Napoli in the last 32 of the Europa League, with the first leg at the Liberty this Thursday.

And Martinez, a renowned student of the game, believes Monk's men can cause a shock against Rafael Benitez's Serie A heavyweights.

"I really believe Swansea have a chance against Napoli," he added.

"It may sound strange, but I think it really helps playing at home in the first tie.

"We all know Napoli are a very good team on the counter-attack, but it suits Swansea to play the second leg away from home.

"If they have something to protect away from home, with their control and possession, I think they can do something special."

Martinez was delighted with his team's second-half improvement yesterday as Everton moved through the gears to book a place in the last eight. He felt Swansea deserved "huge credit" for the bravery they showed on the ball in the first period, when Jonathan de Guzman cancelled out Everton debutant Lacina Traore's opener.

But as the Toffees pressed Swansea in the second half, individual errors cost the visitors dear.

Steven Naismith restored Everton's lead when he latched on to a back pass from Neil Taylor, then Leighton Baines's penalty wrapped up the victory after Jazz Richards brought down Scottish international Naismith.

But Martinez stressed: "This was more like the Swansea I know. You have to remember Swansea have very strong footballing concepts — it is not about personnel.

"You saw it here that no matter how many changes they made, the team got on the ball. They were brave, energetic, and showed a real desire to help each other.

"I think they are back playing with a real enjoyment. I don't know what happened previously, but clearly what Garry Monk has brought into the group is a real competitive edge.

"He has made it something to look forward to every time they are on the pitch and clearly those strong footballing concepts are there. For me, this season looks very much alive for them."

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  • yankytaff  |  February 17 2014, 1:09PM

    We can retain our PL staus this season which has the be the priortiy and is somehting which is looking more likley now than it was a month ago

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  • CroJack  |  February 17 2014, 11:17AM

    The truth is, Roberto, your old pal Garry gave you an easy victory by playing our second team at Goodison Park. And we played with 10 players + Vasquez. From the 69th minute we played with nine players + Lita + Vasquez. Everton were so bad in the first half that even our third team could easily get a draw there. I was shocked watching your first team performing so badly against a poor side. How come that such a great manager couldn't motivate his players? Everton players showed no passion on the pitch, and it seems to me they need to be rejuvenated. And you say we can achieve big things in the Europa League and in the Premier League this season. Really? Napoli? Everything can happen in the cup competitions if we have our best players on the pitch and if we can keep clean sheet at the Liberty. But what kind of big things can we achieve in the Premier League? We can only fight to win the league within the league which is 10th place.

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