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Sunday 17 December 2017

Monk gets tactics right to frustrate sliding Saints

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey

Garry Monk was pleased by the way Swansea not only managed to frustrate Southampton but leave St Mary's with a first Premier League win of 2015.

Arriving on the south coast without a top-flight victory since St Stephen's Day, few expected their rotten recent form to improve in yesterday's late kick-off.

However, Swansea managed to frustrate the hosts, with a resolute defence and dollop of luck allowing them to eke out a 1-0 win, courtesy of Jonjo Shelvey's fine, late strike.

"I am happy with the three points after what has been a difficult month for us for various reasons," Monk said. "We have lost players, had injuries, players away on international duty and suspensions.

"It has been difficult for us but I talked in the week about getting back to basics.

"We came here with a game plan and I thought we executed that game plan very well.

"And what a goal - a fantastic strike from Jonjo which deserved to win any game.

"I thought we were good for the three points, especially in the second half.

"We came to frustrate them a little bit and in the second half we knew that if we used the ball a little better we'd get our chances and so it proved."

This was certainly not the free-flowing Swansea onlookers have become accustomed to, with the players instead displaying a dogged, battling side.

Monk heaped praise on match-winner Shelvey and captain Ashley Williams in the post-match press conference, while he downplayed a touchline spat with Ryan Bertrand.

The Saints left-back clashed with the Swansea bench after a lunge on Modou Barrow, which saw him sent off by referee Michael Oliver in the dying minutes.

"I thought it was a bad tackle, but I was more appealing because knew it was a free-kick," Monk said. "Whether it was a red card, I'm not sure."

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