Garry Monk has called for focus at Swansea City to ensure they do not suffer another slump in Premier League form following an international break.
After starting the campaign unbeaten in their opening four league matches, Swansea saw their momentum ebb away following September’s round of international fixtures with defeats to Watford and Southampton, as well as a League Cup exit at Hull City.
That leaves Monk’s side without a win since their 2-1 victory over Manchester United in late August and the Swansea manager is keen to halt that run when Stoke City travel to the Liberty Stadium on Monday.
Five of Swansea’s squad are returning to domestic action having helped their respective countries secure places at Euro 2016, but Monk has demanded full focus on their domestic form.
“It’s important that the players put that [the international break] to bed now and concentrate on their football here until the summer and Euro 2016,” he said. “I’ve spoken to them and they are fully aware of that.
“It’s a key period for us now. Every game is important but we want to get better. All the players have come back from the break fit and in good shape, and it will be great to have this period together ahead of Monday.
“Stoke had an initial slow start to the season but they have picked up in recent weeks. They signed a lot of quality players in the summer and they have a strong squad.
“We had two good games against Stoke last season and we enjoyed those battles. They have shown their quality in recent weeks and we’ll be expecting another tough game on Monday.”