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Rafa Benitez will advise Garry Monk after Swansea City play Napoli in the Europa League

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: February 20, 2014

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RAFA Benitez has promised to give Garry Monk a few managerial pointers — after Swansea City's Europa League clash with Napoli is over.

Monk revealed he hoped to pick the veteran Spaniard's brain as he takes the first steps in his coaching career.

Benitez began by taking charge of Real Madrid's B team more than 20 years ago, and insisted he was happy to pass on the benefit of that experience.

"I have no problems giving advice after the game," said Benitez.

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"I know him (Monk) from when he was a player, I was reading reports from my scouts, who said he was someone that likes good football and tactically will be good.

"At the back you analyse the game from a different point of view and you learn a lot.

"I'm sure he will be good, and I can give advice because I am older than him, but it will have to wait until after the game."

Benitez returns to the Liberty just a year after being involved in another two-legged clash, which concluded at the venue.

Then Swansea eliminated Chelsea from the Capital One Cup after a tie with striking similarities to this one.

The Blues were overwhelming favourites back then, but Swansea triumphed to reach a final at Wembley.

That game will forever be remembered for the incident that saw Eden Hazard sent off for kicking a ball boy.

"He kicked the ball, not the boy," smiled Benitez.

"That was a special experience. We lost the first game and that is something I will tell my players.

"We have to be aware of the quality players Swansea have and the way they play.

"Winning is never easy, and the Europa League is a very difficult competition because not everyone understands the importance of knowing the team you play against.

"I know Swansea and I can tell my players that Swansea are a very good side.

"They are well organised, play at a high tempo and the fact they are playing against Napoli will galvanise them."

Napoli will assess star striker Gonzalo Higuain's fitness today, but Benitez claimed he was "optimistic" the Argentinian would feature.

The Italians also have a fitness doubt over defender Raul Albiol.

"Swansea like to pass the ball and they are quick," added Benitez.

"They have a lot of quality players, Spanish players that understand the way they play, and there are players that have been there a number of years so they are a difficult side to play against.

"They have changed managers so things are different, but I know the players and I know the style. I have to explain that to my players.

"Playing a team from the Premier League is the real challenge for us.

"They are in the middle of the table and we don't know if their thoughts will be all about the Europa League or if they will be looking at the bottom of the Premier League.

"I don't know if it's an advantage to play a team I know — we will have to wait and see."

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