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Sports News of Monday, 23 November 2015


Andre Ayew pledges support to Garry Monk

Andre Dede Ayew Andre Dede Ayew

Andre Ayew has labelled Garry Monk a 'great manager' as the embattled Swansea boss continues to feel the heat following a disappointing 2-2 home draw with Bournemouth.

Monk has come under increasing pressure amid Swansea's slide down the Barclays Premier League in the last two months and there were few signs of improvement as Bournemouth dominated for long periods at the Liberty Stadium.

Club chairman Huw Jenkins said in his programme notes that everyone at the club should keep their own counsel to 'stop adding fuel to a fire ready to ignite at any time', but it is a fact of football life that results will dictate whether Monk is able to ride this current storm.

Swansea have now won only once in 10 games and lie four places and five points above Bournemouth, who fill the final relegation spot.

But top scorer Ayew, who rescued Swansea from 2-0 down with his sixth goal of the season and by winning a contentious penalty for Jonjo Shelvey to level before half-time, said: 'He (Monk) shows us a lot of support and confidence.

'We were trying to give it back to him on the pitch. He's a great manager, we know what he did last season. Everything's going to get back into shape and we just need some time.

'You need that in football when things are difficult. We believe we have great players, a great squad, a great manager and everything will be OK. We just need to keep working hard and don't give up.'

Monk, however, will receive little comfort when he scans Swansea's pre-Christmas fixture list.

Next weekend's trip to Jurgen Klopp's fast-reviving Liverpool is followed by a visit from league leaders Leicester and their goal machine Jamie Vardy.

After that there is an away date at Manchester City before in-form West Ham travel to the Liberty Stadium.

'When you're in a club like Swansea that wants to grow and you don't get the results everybody gets the pressure,' said Ghana forward Ayew.

'That's normal, but we just want to stay focused on the field and not look at what's happening outside.

'We just concentrate on the pitch and listen to what the coach has to tell us about the tactics and what he wants to do. That's what's important.'

Swansea had handed out 19,000 clappers for fans to pump up the volume and lift a side who finished eighth last season with a record points tally.

But boos were the only noise heard from home supporters when Bournemouth led through Joshua King's first goal for the club and Dan Gosling inside 26 minutes.

Eddie Howe's side could not hold on for a first win in eight but defender Steve Cook feels the Cherries are heading in the right direction.