Swansea hope to beat City for Monk

LONDON • Swansea City players are aiming to win today's Premier League game against Manchester City for former manager Garry Monk because they feel responsible for his departure, caretaker manager Alan Curtis said yesterday.

Monk's 12-year association with the club as a player and manager ended when he was fired on Wednesday following a sequence of one win in 11 league games, a run that left the Swans one point above the relegation zone.

"It's been a difficult few days for everyone. We are all used to managers leaving because sadly that has always been part of the game," Curtis told the club's website. "But Garry's departure seemed a lot more personal to everyone because he has been at the club for so long.

"We all feel - staff and players - that we have let him down and we want to go a small way to rectifying that on Saturday."

Yet the players will require extra focus, with plenty of speculation over who could succeed Monk.

While former Everton and Manchester United manager David Moyes has ruled himself out of the running, former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet is reportedly interested in the post.

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs has been the latest to be mentioned.

"First I have to speak to Ryan Giggs by himself if it's true," said United manager Louis van Gaal. "And (in that case), he's coming to me. I never read papers and I think that it's the truth. I'm sorry. I cannot speak about 'if'. The 'if' situations."

With Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero ruled out of today's clash, Wilfried Bony is expected to get the chance to inflict more damage on his former club.

"It's difficult to see Swansea struggling because they are the club that brought me to England and allowed me to establish myself in the Premier League and win a move to City. I will always have respect for the club and their fans," admitted the Ivory Coast striker, who scored his sixth goal of the season against Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini expects Aguero to be fit to play against Arsenal in a key Premier League clash next Monday.

Captain Vincent Kompany will also return to training next week while fellow defender Pablo Zabaleta and midfielders Fernando and Samir Nasri are all still out.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2015, with the headline 'Swansea hope to beat City for Monk'. Print Edition | Subscribe