Garry Monk believes “open and honest” discussions with his players have already had an effect in turning around Swansea City’s season.
Monk said he did not want to label those discussions – held both individually and collectively with his players – as clear-the-air talks after a run of form which has sent Swansea spiralling towards the Premier League relegation zone.
But he insisted those conversations had a positive effect in producing a far more cohesive performance at Liverpool last weekend, even though defeat to a James Milner penalty left Swansea with only one win in 10 league games and just four points above the safety line.
“At the start of last week after the Bournemouth game (a 2-2 home draw), I sat down with all the players and had good discussions with them on how we go forward and what we need to do to improve,” Monk said.
“It was really positive, the feedback from them and my views as well.
“We put that on to the training field and I think you saw that in the Liverpool game.
“It was a much-improved performance, considering where we were the week before. It was much more like ourselves.
“It showed we are trying to work the right way and, apart from doing a little bit better in the final third, I thought we were excellent.”
Monk’s position has come under immense scrutiny during a miserable run which has dropped them from a Champions League position at the end of August into the bottom six.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp last weekend joined those arguing Monk should be given more time to turn around Swansea’s fortunes after the 36-year-old guided the Welsh club to its best Premier League finish of eighth last season.
And Monk believes last week’s in-house talks will form the basis for picking up Premier League points, starting at home to second-placed Leicester City on Saturday.
“Those discussions were definitely the right step to make,” Monk said.
“It’s not an easy process but it was definitely a step in the right direction.
“We talked about many things, we talked about the situation and said: ‘Let’s be open and honest about it.’
“I talked a lot about the mentality and the approach of how we go forward, things we need to improve football-wise on a daily basis to take into games.
“The players talked about their perception of the situation and how they felt in certain games.
“Of course, we were the disappointed with the result at Liverpool, but I think the whole team stepped up and turned a corner.”
Monk said part of the discussions focused on him telling the players to let him take the criticism so they could focus on matching last season’s standards.
“I told them let me worry about that (criticism), I’m the manager and it’s for me to deal with,” Monk said.
“I’ve got big enough shoulders to deal with it and the players can concentrate on their performance.
“You saw that at Liverpool and it’s important we take that momentum into the next game, which I’m sure we will do.”