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Diving Controversy: Swansea Boss Sticks To His Guns

Garry Monk felt patronised by the comments aimed at him as the fall-out from Swansea’s controversial defeat at Stoke last weekend shows no sign of ending.

The Football Association contacted Monk on Thursday to “seek his observations” after the Swansea manager claimed Victor Moses cheated by diving to win a penalty for the Stoke equaliser and criticised referee Michael Oliver for making a “disgusting decision” to award the spot-kick.

Monk has until October 27 to reply but says he is happy to provide the FA with his observations and insists he will stand by the comments he made following the 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at the Britannia Stadium.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes described Monk’s post-match comments as “unacceptable” and on Thursday echoed the sentiments of his chairman Peter Coates by welcoming the FA’s decision to investigate what he saw as an unnecessary attack on his player.

But Monk, speaking after being contacted by the FA and ahead of Saturday’s league game with Leicester, said he would continue to stand up for himself.

At 35 years of age and just eight months into the Swansea job, Monk is the youngest manager in the Premier League and Hughes said the former centre-half would ‘learn to bite his lip’ as he gains more experience.

Asked if he found such comments patronising, Monk said: “Of course they are, but they are going to be. “It (inexperience) will always be thrown at me until – hopefully – I do 10 years in this job.

“It doesn’t bother me and it is not my concern what Mark Hughes does or says about me or anything else. I just worry about myself and my team.

“The way Tony Pulis handled the Jerome Thomas incident down here last season (the then Crystal Palace manager fined his player for diving in a game at Swansea) is how I would have handled it myself.

“Mark Hughes chose not to handle it that way and that is his prerogative. It is up to other people to decide if that is the right way to do it, but I have my own views on it.

“Standing up for yourself and being honest is a trait I have, if that disagrees with some people, then so be it.

“But I am sure the majority, as you have seen this week, have been happy with what I have said.

“I have had phone calls from people in football who I did not even know who were very much on my side and telling me well done for sticking up for my team.

“I am sure I have more people on my side than not.”

Former Stoke manager Pulis and BBC pundit John Hartson were among those who voiced their support after Monk said Moses should be “ashamed of himself” after falling theatrically to win a penalty.

Monk insists any Swansea player found guilty of simulation would be dealt with by the club’s internal fines system and dropped from his team.

“I think we have to send the right message, even if it is sometimes against our own players to get that message across,” Monk said.

“I feel it comes back to what you do on the training ground. and the players need to see from you what is acceptable and what is not.

“I stand by what I said at Stoke it because I was speaking honestly about what I felt.

“I can’t see how I should be punished as I haven’t talked about the referee’s character or any bias.

“I was talking about a specific situation and the words I used were against the player.

“I am not saying that Victor Moses has cheated his whole career, I am just talking about that specific image.

“That’s why I made those comments, it is how I saw it in that particular moment.”

Monk says he wants the FA to punish divers with firm retrospective action, believing the brandishing of red rather than yellow cards would prevent culprits from profiting.

“The problem you have now is if a player dives the worst-case scenario is they get a yellow card,” Monk said.

“So it is worth the chance? People that dive feel it is worth the chance and, for me, proper punishment will clear that up.

“A fine, whether it be one or two weeks wages, and whatever ban they want of up to three games.

“That would suffice and send a strong message to everyone and players would think twice about it.

“If the ref sees it at the time then, yes, a red card. If they are going to be banned anyway and it is a clear offence then they should be sent off.

“Unless there is a proper punishment put in place that is stern enough to deter anyone it will always happen.”

Associated Press report.

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