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'It's unique that we all live in and around Swansea — every day in your working life you're among the fans'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 31, 2012

  • Monk

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SWANSEA City have long been lauded for their attractive passing football, but club captain Garry Monk reckons the 2-1 win over Fulham was the product of a "unique" team spirit.

Monk came into the side as one of seven changes from the Boxing Day draw at Reading, and the 33-year-old gave an authoritative display as the Swans repelled a Fulham onslaught in a frenzied second half.

There had been reports of unrest in Michael Laudrup's squad earlier this season, but a string of stirring performances and 28 points from their 20 Premier League fixtures to date have silenced such rumours.

"I'm so proud of the boys," said Monk. "They threw their bodies in the way and everyone put themselves on the line when they (Fulham) were coming on strong.

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"I've said it all along, it's unique that we all live in and around Swansea. Every day in your working life you're among the fans, whether it's going to the shops or getting on with your daily life.

"You feel how much the club means to them and I've been there a long time so I understand it, but even the new boys coming in do.

"I'm not saying that's the biggest factor but it's just a unique thing for us. For years, especially for new players, they've realised how close we are when they come into the group.

"We're a close-knit unit and one thing we always show in every game, no matter what the score is, is that spirit. That spirit came to the fore on Saturday and helped us get over the line."

There was a prime example of Swansea's team spirit in the away end at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Despite not being in the matchday squad, centre-back Chico Flores travelled to West London and watched the game as a fan.

"There you go. He's a new signing and he's sat in the stands," said Monk. "I didn't see him but a few of the boys said he was sat in there somewhere.

"That's what I mean. How many players in the Premier League would you see sat in there with their own fans? I don't know what happened to him — maybe he got a burger or something!"

New signings such as Flores, Michu, Pablo Hernandez and Jonathan de Guzman have featured prominently in Swansea's excellent first half of the season.

And although Swansea may come as something of a culture shock, Monk believes the speed with which they have settled has been integral to the team ethic at the Liberty Stadium.

"The crowd try to bring them into their arms straight away," he said. "They've got the songs for them straight away — I remember in pre-season they were singing the new boys' names.

"The foreign boys were a bit surprised, it's different over here. You play for the fans, whereas in Spain you're just playing for the clubs.

"Over here, you're playing for the fans and they buy into it straightaway.

"I think it's part of the scouting system we have at Swansea, where they try to look at the character of the player, make sure he fits in with the group and that he's not a loner or a maverick.

"It's not the be-all and end-all but I think it's a vitally important part of getting results like we do."

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  • brochadav  |  December 31 2012, 9:26PM

    I wish Gary Monk was a few years younger. I really hope he stays here and does all his badges then gets a coaching job when he hangs up his boots. He's part of the furniture now and long may that last.

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  • Philosoraptor  |  December 31 2012, 9:10PM

    I saw the same questionnaire, said the same thing and complained that South West Wales section has only Wales Online external links. I explained that was a nationalist publication whose paper product is sold in the South East, I still see there is nothing for our regions publication. Sigh.

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  • martyn47  |  December 31 2012, 8:59PM

    I filled a questionnaire on the BBC website and pointed out that BBC Wales speaks only for cardiff and the south-east. I boycott bbc cardiff.

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  • Philosoraptor  |  December 31 2012, 8:54PM

    Hadoken, if Cardiff come up they will not get as many admirers as Swansea. For a start, they will only last one season because almost all Prem clubs play the same style of football as them... But ofcourse, the Prem clubs have players that are much bigger, much faster, far more skilful and their mental strength is superior in almost every way. Cardiff are Premier League cannon fodder. The other reason people will not like them like they do Swansea is their fans, at this moment now the thing about Cardiff that stands out the most is the bad behaviour if their fans. Only Leeds and Millwall can claim to have worse supporters. The 'Capital Club' mantra has no effect whatsoever outside of Wales. The rest of the UK, and the world, see London as the capital while Cardiff is nothing. They'll be a laughing stock because of this bold claim falling on deaf ears in Swansea as well, some of the English fans already find it humorous that we stick the boot into them by claiming to be 'Wales' PREMIER Club'. And then there is the financial situation. We are admired for how we operate as a club and are owned partially by the fans where our chairman is himself a supporter. Cardiff is owned by a foreigner who was so stingy he wouldn't clear the massive debts and landed a £100m loan on to the club, total debts are now £130m+ no matter what any deluded Red Birds say. Oh yeah... the red birds thing... Another PR calamity for Cardiff awaiting global ridicule if they are promoted. Our poor relations on the other side of the River Neath will be a flash in the pan if they are promoted, they have no system in place to compete against the bigger teams. Like Reading, and even like QPR if they spend away, they are just their to give the Swans and other teams a nice 3 point gift.

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  • Hadoken84843  |  December 31 2012, 3:08PM

    I see quite a few of the swans players out and about, its such a small place here I think that is what happens. you go to somewhere like London and Birmingham and you just get just a toilet of anonymity. The way of life around here filters into the club. Anyone saying swansea is not a big club, errr, its the only pl club in the country and puts us on the map around the world. It means a lot here to people who are often over looked and cheated by the media and politicans in cardiff. The football here allows us to leap frog that poison hierachy of order, which will no doubt return of cardiff get into this league. You can usually count on them to self destruct towards the end of the season though.

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  • martyn47  |  December 31 2012, 11:34AM

    As with Lampard at Chesea, he has to stay. Not just because of his ability to perform but because he knws the club inside out and what we're all about. Natural born leader. Same goes for Leon.

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  • bigphil1959  |  December 31 2012, 10:22AM

    Gary monk was outstanding against fulham. like scfc-10 says LEGEND.

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  • SCFC_10  |  December 31 2012, 7:13AM

    Garry Monk = Legend.

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