Swansea v Crystal Palace: Garry Monk calls for Swans to use Europa League hurt to earn victory against Eagles
Swansea were knocked out of the Europa League last-32 by Napoli on Thursday but Monk wants the team to bounce back in their campaign to avoid Premier League relegation
Saturday 01 March 2014
Swansea boss Garry Monk has called on his players to channel the hurt of their Europa League elimination into their performance against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The Swans bowed out of Europe at the last-32 stage on Thursday after a fighting 3-1 reverse at Napoli, a game which remained in the balance until added time when Gokhan Inler's strike finally killed the tie off.
The end of their European ambitions has come as a bitter disappointment to Swansea's players, but one positive to take is that they are now free to focus solely on their battle for Barclays Premier League survival.
Swansea sit 12th in the standings after last weekend's battling 4-3 loss at Liverpool, but just four points separate the club from the relegation zone, with Palace two points worse off in 16th.
A win for either side would represent a massive step towards safety, and Monk hopes some good can come from the pain of Naples.
"The idea is to take the disappointment from going out of the competition into Sunday's game," said Monk, whose team will earn a welcome break after Sunday's game with their next scheduled opponents, Arsenal, on FA Cup duty the following weekend.
"Hopefully we will get the reaction that we want after our disappointment.
"I will request my players give one last mammoth effort before we get a two-week break."
Although a welcome rest period is on the horizon, Monk has not ruled out making several changes for the clash with the Eagles as he looks to keep his squad fresh.
"I based my selection for the game against Napoli a little bit on the Palace match because you have to," he said.
"As I've said before, it's impossible for me to play the same 11 players every single game in this period. We've had a lot of games, with the Palace game it will be seven games in 21 days, which is a lot to take on for a player, physically.
"What I'm asking them to do is very demanding. As a coach you have to bear that in mind."
Monk expects Nathan Dyer to be fit for Sunday despite picking up an injury in Naples.
Dyer came off shortly after the hour mark on Thursday night but Monk said: "Nathan landed on his heel, he had some pain but he will be okay."
Fellow midfielder Leon Britton was rested from the game as a precaution following a knock to his knee but he is expected to return, while Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring) and Michu (ankle) remain notable absentees.
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