Garry Monk is ready for the challenge that awaits him as Swansea’s new head coach, saying: “I will give everything I have.” Press Association Monk faces a baptism of fire, with Swansea gearing up for a remaining February schedule of six games in 20 days – league appointments with Cardiff, Stoke and Liverpool, an FA Cup tie at Everton, plus home and away Europa League clashes against Napoli. Trust chairman Phil Sumbler said the Trust had been aware of “growing concerns” among the Swansea board regarding Premier League performances. In a statement, the Trust said: “During its tenure at the club, the current board, including a representative of the Supporters’ Trust, has made key decisions which have taken the club forward, and ultimately we believe that this decision has been taken with the best interest of the club in mind.” And Sumbler added: “There has inevitably been a mixed reaction among fans to the announcement, with the club facing a critical period of key matches in three major competitions. “However, we know from our supporter director Huw Cooze that the board has not taken this decision lightly, particularly in such an important week for the club, and it’s vital that we now all pull together to give the team our full support. “We all want to see an upturn in results, and what better place to start than at the Liberty Stadium against Cardiff City?” The Trust has also placed on record its thanks to Laudrup for his achievements during his time at the club. Despite Swansea winning the Capital One Cup during Laudrup’s reign, his relationship with the club had reportedly been strained since a major disagreement over transfer policy last summer. Laudrup, who had previously had managerial spells with four different clubs including Real Mallorca and Getafe, was appointed in 2012 as successor to Brendan Rodgers. Problems first surfaced last summer when Laudrup and Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins fell out over transfer targets. The club subsequently opted to cut all ties with Laudrup’s agent Bayram Tutumlu. Press Association Sport understands tensions have also remained throughout the current season, and there has also been disquiet about the intensity of training sessions. With Laudrup gone, and Monk and Curtis now heading up coaching operations, attention has already switched to who might become Laudrup’s long-term successor, with former Swansea assistant manager and current Everton assistant Graeme Jones a strong candidate among bookmakers. Laudrup’s departure, announced on Tuesday night, has been backed by the Swansea City Supporters’ Trust, with the club currently sitting just two points above the Barclays Premier League danger zone following a run of one win from 10 games. Long-serving defender Monk, a former club captain, and Swansea stalwart Curtis have been put in charge “for the foreseeable future”. “I will give everything I have for Swansea City. I will promise the fans that. And I will ensure the players do exactly the same,” Monk, 34, told Swansea’s official website. “We are all in this together, and I will make sure we stick together. That is what Swansea City has been all about for as long as I can remember. “I know this club inside out, and I will try and use that knowledge to the betterment of Swansea City. “I also know how important this football club is to the fans. They are the important ones in all this, and we will all fight every inch of the way for them. “This is a proud moment for me, and I aim to do the best possible for this club and the loyal supporters.” The Supporters’ Trust, which has more than a 20 per cent shareholding of the football club, supported the decision and called on fans to get behind Monk and the players “in the tough battles ahead”. Monk and first-team coach Alan Curtis oversaw their first training session on Wednesday after the Swans parted company with manager Michael Laudrup. The Dane has been followed through the exit door by assistant manager Morten Wieghorst, fitness coach Oscar Garcia and overseas scout Erik Larsen ahead of Saturday’s south Wales derby against Cardiff.
As training camp finished, Christopher Fredrick didn’t like having to look up on the depth chart as a safety-turned-cornerback. He saw four players ahead of him. That’s not exactly the way he wanted to start his redshirt freshman year.“I was kind of struggling, frustrated with that,” Fredrick said.So he went to safety Rodney Williams and cornerback Juwan Dowels for advice. “Don’t focus on it too much,” Fredrick said of what they told him. “Just go to practice every day just working on getting better every day so that when my time does come I’ll be ready.”The time came against then No.17-Virginia Tech on Oct. 15 — Syracuse’s biggest win of the year. A secondary decimated by injuries lost cornerback Cordell Hudson before the game, thrusting Fredrick into his first starting role. Fredrick has now started at corner for SU (4-5, 2-3 Atlantic Coast) each of the last three weeks. Hudson came off the injury report last week but didn’t play, leaving Fredrick to start once again in his place.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThough he’s had an up and down first year, Fredrick is determined to hold on to the starting role that he got the chance to grab.“It is a great feeling actually working hard and finally getting to display what you’ve been working toward,” Fredrick said. “It’s really satisfying.”His playing time through the first six games consisted mostly of special teams and garbage time work. He recorded one tackle, on a kickoff in the first quarter against Louisville, but that was it.Then the Orange lost Dowels for the season in Week 2 and Hudson, who has yet to return, heading into Week 7. Fredrick leap frogged over Carl Jones, who had been the third option at corner, when Hudson went out.Fredrick packed on the pounds in the last year, bumping up from 173 when he first got to Syracuse to about 194 now. His long arms help in press coverage and knocking down balls and improving his footwork to pick up the slack. He’s spent extra time in the film room, starting with before the VT game, to figure out where he’s supposed to be on plays and what he’s supposed to do.“He’s just been sitting back, staying the course, keep working hard,” Williams said after the win over Virginia Tech. “… Going forward I think he’ll give us a really good chance to win.” There’s been the good: a four-tackle outing against the Hokies that started off with a tackle behind the line on a reverse. Fredrick delivered several big hits, including a key stop on third down. The run defense is where he thinks he’s performed the best.Then there’s the bad: allowing touchdown passes against Virginia Tech and Clemson. VT’s was a 12-yard fade to Isaiah Ford that Fredrick was in position for but didn’t look up when the receiver did. Fredrick went for Ford’s hip instead as the ball floated overtop. At Clemson, Fredrick was the victim of a 65-yard pass down the sideline. The receiver got in his blind spot, he said, and sped by.“Not good at all,” Fredrick said of his game against Clemson.Fredrick insists he took a step back in his performance against Clemson. But he’s trying to make sure he doesn’t slip too far away from where he now is.He’s focused on open field tackling heading into the game against North Carolina State and keeping players out of his blind spot.For the most part, though, he’s happy with where he’s at.“You know where you were at before,” Fredrick said. “Now you’re getting the taste of what you really came here for. You got to keep going. Keep getting better so you won’t be back at that place you were before.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 10, 2016 at 11:47 pm Contact Jon: firstname.lastname@example.org | @jmettus