Swansea boss Monk full of praise for Chico

The Spanish centre-back pulled the Swans level at the Britannia Stadium to secure a draw and maintain the club's new manager's unbeaten record
Swansea boss Garry Monk hailed controversial defender Chico Flores as his man of the match in Wednesday's draw at Stoke City.

The Spaniard's header just after half time ensured Monk's men left the Britannia Stadium with a share of the spoils, after Peter Crouch had given the hosts the lead.

Defender Chico had come in for criticism after seemingly exaggerating a clash with West Ham's Andy Carroll a fortnight ago, which saw the striker sent off and banned for three games.

However, having seen his centre-back make headlines for the right reasons, Monk was full of praise for the former Almeria man, and also claimed his side were fully deserving of their point, if not all three.

Monk said: "(Chico) was my man of the match, I thought he was absolutely magnificent today.

"I thought he was a rock. He was solid he passed the ball well and everything you want from a defender he gave it today and the goal was a bonus on top.

"When you have someone play that way, it gives the team a lift and sometimes players at the back need that.

"I think when you look at our recent history a point looks a really good point and I'm not grumbling about that at all.

"But I thought the way we went out in the second half, and apart from a five-minute period in the first half when they got their goal and had a bit of pressure on us, we really grew into the game.

"We kept the ball well, we passed it, we pressed them and got the ball back when we needed to and if anything I thought we had a good few chances to win the game."

Opposition boss Mark Hughes lauded Swansea's performance and, though he rued several decisions that went against Stoke, believes a draw was a fair result.

"Performance-wise it wasn't one of our better games to be fair, I think we're honest enough to say that but that's credit to Swansea and the way they played," said Hughes.

"They were nice and bright and were always in the game."

"In the end we're disappointed because we felt there were a couple of penalty decisions that we felt could have gone our way.

"It would have been a little bit unfair on Swansea, who will say that they probably had opportunities to score more goals."