Europa League: Swansea's Garry Monk looking forward to facing Rafa Benitez
Rookie Swansea City manager Garry Monk cannot wait to test his ability against Rafa Benitez and Napoli on Thursday.
Last Updated: 24/02/14 11:41am
Monk's men host the Serie A side in the last-32 of the Europa League and will hope to claim a first-leg lead to take to Italy.
For Monk it will be a first taste of European management and he accepts there is a massive challenge awaiting his side, who continue to struggle in the Premier League.
Benitez is one of the most experienced managers in European football, winning the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool in 2005 and the Europa League in 2013 with Chelsea, as well as its predecessor the UEFA Cup with Valencia in 2004.
"They are one of the best teams in Europe. I have watched their matches and they have very good players all the way from the goalkeeper to the attackers," said Monk, who will be in only his fourth game as a manager.
"They are a very powerful team in European football. We will be going up against a very good side, but we believe in ourselves to get a good result.
"When we had the draw it was something the whole city was talking about. I've known this was coming up and it is a big occasion for the club and myself.
"Staying in the Premier League is fundamental to us, but a game like this is one to look forward to and enjoy.
"Rafa Benitez is a hugely successful manager who has won some of the biggest trophies in the game. What he achieved at Chelsea - under all that pressure - shows how good a manager he is.
"I didn't expect this opportunity to come along like this, but I've had to prepare the team as much as possible.
"When we had the Everton (FA Cup) game out of the way it was straight onto Napoli. This is a game we are really looking forward to - it's a big challenge against one of the best teams on the continent and hopefully we can get a positive result into the second leg."