• Manager had 'no inkling' of offer to replace Michael Laudrup
• Monk: 'I know everything about the club and the players'
Garry Monk said he was "shocked" to be offered the chance to take over as the head coach of Swansea City but the central defender believes that, in the circumstances, he is the ideal candidate to replace Michael Laudrup because of his intimate knowledge of the club.
Monk, who has captained Swansea in all four divisions, was given the job for the "foreseeable future", starting with the visit of Cardiff City in the south Wales derby on Saturday. "I had no inkling of this coming about. I was shocked to be offered the job," Monk said, speaking at his first press conference since he was appointed.
"I have chatted to the chairman and the directors about coaching and management and they told me to always be ready. I always look at games and tactics and think from a coaching point of view.
"I know everything about the club and everything about the players. I was probably the best person to take it on in this situation. You need somebody who cares about the club and the players. I have that and Alan Curtis [the former Swansea player who will step up to the role of assistant from first-team coach] has that.
"It will be great to manage this club – one of the proudest things I've ever done. It's hard to put this into words but it's not about me. I will do my best for this club, whatever I do, even if it's cleaning the toilets."
There will be no problems with Chico Flores, the central defender with whom Monk had a bust-up on the training ground last month. "Chico will be in the squad," he said. "We have zero problems whatsoever. We have had a fantastic relationship and we've had a laugh about what's going on."
Monk also has no intention of trying to combine playing with managing. "I'm not a player-manager. You can't prepare a team properly if you are in it. It would be nice if I have played my last game because that will mean I have done well as a manager."
The stakes could hardly be higher for his first match, given that their derby rivals Cardiff are only three points behind. "It doesn't come much harder than having a derby first," Monk said. "I don't want to talk about or think about relegation. We are in a good position and we need to push on. That's all we've said this week.
"I've not had much sleep but I'm trying to get the team ready for a really big game. I've been in this situation before as a player [when the manager leaves] and we know how to deal with it and move on. I am using those experiences to convey to the boys and the staff."