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Swansea and Cardiff face tricky opening fixtures

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking to guide Cardiff to an immediate return to the Premier League Credit: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport

Swansea and Cardiff begin the new season with tricky opening day away fixtures to Man United and Blackburn Rovers respectively.

Garry Monk begins his first full season as official Head Coach of the Swans by taking on the side he knocked out of the FA Cup last year - although United will be looking for a more positive start under the guidance of Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal.

Cardiff start life back in the Championship against a Blackburn Rovers side who narrowly missed out on the play offs. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping new signings will help the Bluebirds to an immediate return to the top flight.

Newport meanwhile will start their second season in League football with a home tie against Wycombe.

Swansea City settle with Michael Laudrup

Swansea City have announced a settlement with former manager Michael Laudrup.

Laudrup was dismissed from the club in February.

At the time, Laudrup said he was 'deeply disappointed' to leave the club Credit: PA

In a short statement, Swansea City said: " The club would like to thank Michael for his work over the 18-month period where he guided the club to ninth place in the Barclays Premier League and the Capital One Cup trophy. "

"Everyone at Swansea City Football Club would like to wish Michael all the best for the future. Both parties will not be issuing any further comments on this matter. "


New permanent manager Monk ready for challenge

Garry Monk takes charge of Swansea's first game since he became permanent manager Credit: PA

Garry Monk will take charge of Swansea for the first time this weekend as their new permanent manager, claiming: "It doesn't faze me at all."

Former Swans captain Monk's three-year deal sees him succeed revered bosses like Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup at the Liberty Stadium.

He performed a head-coaching role for three months after Laudrup departed the club earlier this season before Swansea decided he was the man to take them forward on a long-term basis.

"I feel very honoured," Monk told reporters.

"It is something I have always dreamed about doing. I didn't expect it to come this soon, and it is an opportunity I intend to take.

"I've lived in this city for 10 years. I have always tried my hardest for the club, so it never felt like a trial.

"You are there to be judged. I expect that. It doesn't faze me at all. I have a plan in my own head of what I want to do and how to go about it.

"I want to take the club forward. I have been part of the 10-year journey with this club, and now it is about improving on that, which is what I will be looking to do."

Swansea are set to be without injured pair Michu and Angel Rangel for their Premier League finale at Sunderland today.

But defender Chico Flores, who has been absent through suspension and then injury in recent games, could return.

Chairman: 'Garry Monk represents Swans' values'

Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins says the club is 'delighted' to appoint Garry Monk as first-team manager on a three-year-contract.

Monk took over as head coach following the dismissal of manager Michael Laudrup on February 4.

Garry represents all the strong values we hold so dearly as a football club and everyone is looking forward to working with him.

We have all been impressed with his work-rate and commitment since taking over the reins in February and how he adapted in very difficult circumstances to secure the points we needed to remain in the top-flight.

Garry will work with the current staff to refocus and improve the playing squad over the summer in order to build a strong, competitive team for another big challenge that lies ahead next season.

– Huw Jenkins, Swansea City chairman

Jenkins said the Board of Directors had 'carefully considered' its next step, but decided the timing was right for Monk to be offered the job permanently.

Monk will be assisted by current coach Josep (Pep) Clotet.

Garry Monk confirmed as new Swansea manager


Swansea City confirm the appointment of Garry Monk as the club’s new first-team manager >>


Chairman Huw Jenkins on Monk: "Garry represents all the strong values we hold so dearly as a football club…” (1/2)


Chairman Huw Jenkins on Monk: “We have all been impressed with his work-rate and commitment since taking over the reins in February.” (2/2)

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