Swansea V Cardiff at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

07 February 2014 04:01
Swansea V Cardiff - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Monk weighing up options

Swansea interim head coach Garry Monk has decisions to make over three key players ahead of his first game in charge against Cardiff.

Goalkeeper Michel Vorm and forward Michu have returned to training this week, although a starting role for the Spaniard is highly unlikely, while Jonjo Shelvey's hamstring problem is being assessed.

Defender Chico Flores is set to be involved despite a recent training ground row with Monk, and the furore caused by his actions against West Ham last weekend.

Monk, 34, is preparing for his first game as head coach, having been handed the reins in the wake of the sacking of Michael Laudrup on Tuesday.

The Swans are on a miserable run of one win in 10 league games and lie just two points above the relegation zone after their meek surrender at West Ham last weekend.

The move to dismiss Laudrup, who has indicated he will take legal action over the decision, comes at the end of a turbulent period for the club.

As well as the bust-up with Flores, there had been reports of a split between the club's British and Spanish players, as well as concerns over training methods.

Monk, who played for Swansea in all four divisions, knows there is no better time for the squad to pull together as Cardiff seek to create history by becoming the first side to do the league double in this fixture.

He said: "You have seen my thoughts on the derby before. It's massive.

"The circumstances make it even bigger but we are focused on the football now. We lost the first game at their place and they will want to do us at our place. These are the sorts of games you want to play in and be a part of.

"I can deal with whatever pressure is put on me. I know the boys well and they know me.

"We have to keep the city and the fans and everyone at the club together. If we do that, it's all anyone cares about. We will put a bit of the Swansea way back into things.

"I will do anything for the club. It's my club. I've felt like that since I came here. I will do any job here.

"It doesn't come much harder than having a derby first. I don't want to talk about or think about relegation. We are in a good position and we need to push on. That's all we've said this week. All I care about it Saturday, I can't think any differently."

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could hand new signing Juan Cala an immediate debut.

The Spaniard joined earlier this week after having his contract terminated by Sevilla, and could be preferred to defender Ben Turner, with club captain Mark Hudson nursing a hamstring injury.

Wilfried Zaha is set to make his first start having made a big impact off the bench in last weekend's win over Norwich.

Solskjaer had been expecting to come up against Laudrup, who he admits he was looking forward to meeting for the first time, but does not believe the appointment of a new boss will necessarily see an upturn in Swansea's fortunes.

"You can never be surprised at anything. I was looking forward to seeing Michael, we have never met before," Solskjaer said.

"You cannot foresee how it goes for a team with a new manager, I will concentrate on my team and Garry will concentrate on his.

"We are burning to create history, we can do the double. We can create and repeat history.

"We can become the first side to do the double, but we won there before when Craig Bellamy scored the winner at the Liberty, so we can go create and repeat history at the same time."

Source: PA