Swansea boss Monk hails 'fighter' Williams after Cardiff win

The Swans' temporary manager has hailed the club captain's 'brilliant' performance in the win over their Welsh rivals, and believes his standards will rub off on newer signings

Swansea's caretaker manager Garry Monk has paid tribute to the fighting characteristics of captain Ashley Williams as the struggling Swans thrashed Welsh rivals Cardiff 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

The skipper was one of the stand-out performers in a fixture that marked Monk's first game in charge following the turbulent departure of Michael Laudrup last week.

8/1 Swansea are 8/1 with William Hill to be relegated

After Wayne Routledge opened the scoring at the Liberty Stadium, Williams sprinted to the touchline to embrace Monk - who he has partnered a number of times at the centre of Swansea's defence - and Monk has praised the captain's attitude.

"What a top guy, what a captain as well," Monk told reporters. "I played with [Williams] so many times. I know what it means to him. This club means a lot to him. It means a lot to a lot of those players in there.

"I think the newer boys, that will show them as well. They believe in the club.

"Ash has got standards. He's a fighter. At times I have had to try and tell him that he just has to worry about himself because sometimes when he gets too het up it affects his performance.

"He needs to worry about himself. You could see how much it meant to him and everyone else. It was amazing, brilliant."

The win over the Bluebirds lifts the Swans to four points above the drop zone after a wretched run of form, which has seen the Europa League chasers win just two of their past 11 Premier League games to cost Laudrup his job.

Monk's next task sees him take Swansea to face Stoke City, a game he feels is hard to prepare for against a team in transition.

"Everyone talks about their style, but I think they've tweaked it," said Monk. "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."