Garry Monk has backed Swansea to come through a difficult spell when they travel to Norwich – and is tipping Bafetimbi Gomis to get back among the goals.
After an eye-catching start to the season, the Swans have won just once in their previous seven Premier League games, leading to increased speculation over the future of Monk.
A 2-1 win over struggling Aston Villa was followed by a 3-0 home loss to Arsenal last week, but the 36-year-old has been encouraged by the recent displays and shrugged off any suggestions of a permanent demise.
“I think in the last two games we’ve shown we’re getting back to what we talked about and what we’re good at,” he told reporters at the preview press conference.
“I don’t look at it like that (one win in seven).
“Every team has difficult periods every season. The same happened last season when we had a period similar to this.
“There are always periods when you find it tough and you’re not always at that level and a few things go against you.
“In the last two games, I saw a lot of positives and our old selves coming back from that difficult period.
“Results will always be the be-all and end-all and I understand that, but if we continue to work how we are doing and show our best level – I think you’ll see the right results for sure.”
One of the biggest factors in the Swans’ early-season form was Bafetimbi Gomis. The towering striker scored in the first four games of the season, but has failed to hit the back of the net since the memorable win over Manchester United in August.
However, Monk refused to criticise the French forward, insisting the whole team had to work harder to provide him with chances.
“Of course you want your strikers and all your players to score,” he said. “But it’s a collective and I have great confidence in Bafe.
“I think the team needs to play better as a whole to create more chances. Bafe works very hard and, like the whole team, is working hard to try and get a run of results.”
One player who continues to shine despite the recent dip is Jonjo Shelvey, who was again called up into Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the upcoming friendlies.
Shelvey has made three appearances in the England shirt so far this season, but has been warned by his manager that he has a long way to go before cementing his place ahead of next year’s European Championship.
Monk said: “He’s got to remember this is the start. The first step is to get into the squad but the next is working even harder to maintain his place.
“He’s still got a lot of work to do in terms of cementing his place and Jonjo is well aware of that.
“He started the season very well and deserved his call-up.
“In this period he’s been a little bit below his best but still contributing well, but he has to keep it up all season to be in the squad for the summer tournament.”
Swansea’s opponents, Norwich, have also suffered a slip in form having lost their previous four fixtures, leaving them just two points above the relegation zone.
But Monk has been impressed with the impact his former team-mate Alex Neil has made since arriving at Carrow Road.
“I know Alex very well, he was a team-mate when I was on loan at Barnsley,” Monk added.
“He’s done exceptionally well in his managerial career.
“He’s done an excellent job and I’m very happy for him.
“He’s proved what he can do as a manager and will continue to do that. Looking from the outside he’s done a very good job.”
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