Rodgers hails 'incredible' Monk

BY foxsports • October 1, 2011

The centre-half is preparing to again put his body on the line against Stoke on Sunday, despite not being fully fit. The 32-year-old missed the first four games of the Swans' Premier League campaign as he struggled to get over a long-standing foot problem, caused by pain-killing injections in his back, which has seen him experiencing numbness. But he was pressed into action ahead of schedule when Rodgers found himself with a chronic shortage of centre-halves as injuries to Alan Tate and Steven Caulker - and FIFA's denial of clearance for the signings of Darnel Situ and Rafik Halliche - left him with Ashley Williams as his only fit option. That lack of options saw Monk summoned back into the side for the 3-0 win over West Brom and last weekend's 4-1 defeat at Chelsea. And at the end of a week when Carlos Tevez was suspended after being accused of refusing to play for Manchester City, Rodgers has been amazed by the commitment his skipper, who has played for the club in all four divisions of the league pyramid, has shown. "He has been incredible considering what he has been through. He has put himself forward when he hasn't been fully fit and he hasn't let anyone down," he said. "Against West Brom he was exceptional and against Chelsea he was doing his best against some world class players. "He is a player I can rely on, a great captain. Many players in his position, maybe nine out of 10 players, would not have put themselves forward. "He has an incredible mentality and he is a great man and it shows the mark of him. Many would be frightened to be exposed at this level but he put himself forward while trying to get fully fit as he understands the problems we have got. "He gives everything once he pulls the shirt on and we will need him more in the future. "Since the first day I came in here he has given me everything, never taken a backward step and has been at the forefront with the courage he shows. He put himself right up there." And while Rodgers was eager to eulogise about the bravery shown by his skipper, he feels his side will need to show a different type of courage against Tony Pulis' men this weekend. While Monk and Williams will face a stern physical examination against the likes of Peter Crouch and Kenwyne Jones, Rodgers wants his side to have the courage to continue to utilise their attractive passing style despite the direct threat posed by the Potters. "We are not a team that gets intimidated because for me bravery is getting on the ball," said Rodgers. "Whenever you are under pressure. to get on the ball and go and pass it, that is real bravery. It takes courage to pass the ball with the arrogance we do, and that's why I have huge admiration for how the players have developed. "You come up against teams like Stoke and the game plan may be different to others, but whatever it is you have to stand up and be counted and the players here do that to the maximum they possibly can. "We had a winning formula last season and we want to emulate that style and quality while knowing we are underdogs in every game, but we will not let that affect us." Swansea will be guarding an unbeaten home record tomorrow, while Stoke have won just one of their last 13 away games in the league, and Rodgers is in no doubt as to how important his side's form at the Liberty Stadium will be if they are to stay in the top flight. "It's so important at this level, the supporters have given us great encouragement," he said. "I have confidence we can go away now the league has settled down and get points, but it's important to win as many home games as you can as that will decide our future."

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