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Monk ready for Brit test

Swansea City head coach Garry Monk insists it is difficult to prepare to face a Stoke City side in transition under Mark Hughes.

Hughes is overseeing a tactical shift at the Britannia Stadium after succeeding Tony Pulis as Stoke manager in the close-season.

The changes behind the scenes and on the pitch have led to mixed results so far, but Stoke are brimming with confidence after beating Manchester United in their last home outing and coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Southampton on Saturday.

Monk’s first managerial away-day is at Stoke on Wednesday and the 34-year-old is braced for a tricky test against a team who have lost just once in their last nine Premier League games on home soil.

“Everyone talks about their style, but I think they’ve tweaked it,” said Monk, who celebrated a 3-0 derby win over Cardiff City on Saturday in his first game since taking over from Michael Laudrup.

“They have been in this league a long time now, and we’re under no illusions about how tough it is going to be.

“It isn’t an easy place to go and they will want the points as much as we do.

“We have to build on Saturday’s win and the players are focused and ready to go.

“But at the same time we can’t look beyond the next game and think too far ahead.”

Mon 10 February, 2014
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