Swansea City boss Garry Monk has been heartened by Jonjo Shelvey’s suggestion that the club can qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
Shelvey has been one of Swansea’s more impressive performers this term, earning an England recall after helping the Welsh club take eight points from their opening four Premier League fixtures.
The former Liverpool man stated this week there was “no reason” Swansea could not play Champions League football – an ambition largely endorsed by Monk.
“It’s good for players to have confidence,” he told reporters.
“There’s confidence and overconfidence, but right now I think there’s a good balance and players are playing with freedom and confidence and they have a good way of working.
“It’s about continuing that, but it’s so early in the season to be talking about positions in the league. You really need to get to the 10-15 game marker and it starts to even out or you start to gauge where you could really push for.
“It was similar to that last season, our focus is just on the next game and trying to get three points and see where it takes us.”
Along with Shelvey, defender Ashley Williams has earned plaudits for his performances with Swansea and Wales – captaining the national side to the brink of their maiden European Championships.
Asked whether he was surprised that Williams had not attracted the interest of bigger clubs, Monk joked: “Not at all, he’s not that good!”
He continued: “Ashley’s been fantastic – it’s been rumoured every single year for the last six or seven years [that he might move to a bigger club] and I don’t think the club has ever received an offer, and I’m thankful for that.
“We’re very fortunate as a club to have Ashley here and he’s fortunate too that he’s come to a club and been helped and pushed in the right direction.
“It suits him being here – he enjoys his football. He gets linked here, there and everywhere but always remains very focused.
“Him and Fede [Federico Fernandez] are probably one of the best partnerships in the league and Ashley has to be up there in the top three or four centre-backs in the league.”