Swansea boss Garry Monk praises Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers

Gary Monk: Swansea boss encounter Brendan Rodgers on Monday
Image: Gary Monk: Swansea boss encounter Brendan Rodgers on Monday

Swansea manager Garry Monk believes his former boss at the Liberty Stadium, Brendan Rodgers is capable of working with the best clubs on the continent.

Monk crosses swords again with Rodgers when Liverpool arrive on Monday night, having lost all three of his previous meetings against the Irishman.

Liverpool have gone 12 games unbeaten in the Premier League as they close in on a top-four spot which would secure Champions League qualification for the second successive year after almost ending the club's 24-year wait for the title last season.

The Reds stuttered at the start of the campaign but the upturn in their fortunes has led to reports that Manchester City are making admiring glances towards Merseyside and, asked if Rodgers was equipped to meet expectations at a big-spending club, Monk said: "Yes, he can manage at the top, for sure.

"He's got the knowledge, know-how and capabilities in man-management. He's got the package to do it at the elite of Europe.

"Whether that's an ambition he has at Liverpool or it is an ambition to be at the really elite, I don't know.

"But I'm sure he wants to take Liverpool to those heights again."

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Rodgers admitted earlier this month that he feared the sack at Liverpool prior to changing the formation to three at the back which sparked their climb up the table.

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But Monk, club captain at Swansea when Rodgers steered the Welsh club into the Premier League in 2011 via the Championship play-offs, says that would have been a foolish move and applauds his courage to change a system which had proved so successful last season.

"I've spoken to him about it and the pressure at the bigger clubs is constant but I think he handles it very well," said Monk.

"Transition's never easy, especially after a fantastic season, and just missing out on that title will have knocked the confidence of the players initially.

"It takes time to get that confidence back but he's done that and he also had quite an influx of players in the summer.

"All credit to Brendan for having the bravery to change it to what players probably weren't used to. He did it at a period where it could have been a risk but it's paid dividends."

Liverpool's renaissance has taken them to within two points of fourth-placed Manchester United and Monk feels they will improve still further if they qualify for the Champions League again.

"I know he was disappointed with the Champions League this season but if they can push on and get in there again I think they'll do better next year," Monk said.

"He's evolving as a manager and he's obviously more confident in his own ability than when he was at Swansea.

"That comes with going to a big club, being on a big stage and performing there."

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