Swansea slump but Stoke on the rise

Stoke's Bojan Krkic is brought down in the box by Swansea's Ashley Williams, before he got up to net the resulting penalty for a 1-0 win.
Stoke's Bojan Krkic is brought down in the box by Swansea's Ashley Williams, before he got up to net the resulting penalty for a 1-0 win.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Swansea manager Garry Monk is confident his players can halt the club's slide down the Premier League table, as their woeful run of results continued on Monday with a 1-0 home defeat by Stoke.

Bojan Krkic stroked home a fourth-minute spot kick to settle a dour encounter at the Liberty Stadium after Ashley Williams fouled the former Barcelona forward.

The Spaniard's second goal of the season ensured Mark Hughes' side enjoyed their third successive Premier League victory, lifting them into 11th place after they had opened the campaign without a win in six games.

In stark contrast, Swansea have now gone six matches without a win in all competitions.

The Swans made a promising start to the campaign, climbing as high as fourth in the table after the first four games, following results that included an impressive 2-1 win against Manchester United and a 2-2 draw with champions Chelsea.

But they currently sit 14th in the table after nine games. They are in danger of spending the season looking nervously down towards the relegation zone, rather than dreaming of a European berth, if their poor form continues.

Their slump has also coincided with a dry spell for striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who has failed to find the back of the net since their victory against United on Aug 30.

"We're in a difficult moment but we will come back in tomorrow and work hard and stick together to make sure we return to the levels that we are capable of," Monk told the club's website.

"We went five games last season without winning and went on to have a fantastic season (ending eighth - the club's best finish).

"I'm more than confident in the group that I have - it's about bringing the players' confidence back up and working with them closely."

Monk will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Saturday when his men visit 19th-placed Aston Villa, who have lost their last five games.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2015, with the headline 'Swansea slump but Stoke on the rise'. Print Edition | Subscribe