Swansea manager Garry Monk still looking over shoulder as relegation threat looms

Swansea boss Garry Monk. Photo: PA

Manager Garry Monk accepts that Swansea have hit "crunch time" in the quest to preserve their Premier League status.

The Swans head to Newcastle on Saturday following successive 1-0 defeats against Hull and Chelsea that means they are just three points clear of relegation danger with four games left.

Monk's men have won only two league games since he moved into the coaching hot-seat vacated by a sacked Michael Laudrup in early February, drawing three and losing five.

But after Cardiff, Fulham and Sunderland - three of the five clubs below Swansea - all collected points from their latest league outings, head coach Monk knows the survival battle has intensified.

"We've been looking over our shoulder for a while," Monk said.

"It's a serious situation, but we know that and we are trying to get points on the board as soon as we can. The club, staff, players all know it. This is crunch time and we need to get points on the board.

"We've been far too inconsistent. When we hit heights we can be unplayable, but when we perform badly we are very bad.

"It has been like that this year and has put us in this situation, but we have enough quality and togetherness to make sure we are safe. But talk is cheap, and we have to put it right and show it in the last four games."

After Newcastle, Swansea host Aston Villa and Southampton before ending the season at current bottom club Sunderland on May 11.

"They are all must-win - that's the attitude we have. We want wins, and we are going there (Newcastle) with the aim of three points," Monk added.

"No-one is considering their future right now, because we are all focused on getting out of this situation and getting safe as soon as possible."

Newcastle are reeling from four successive league defeats, having failed to score a goal and conceded 12 in losing to Stoke, Manchester United, Everton and Southampton.

It has increased pressure on Magpies manager Alan Pardew, especially among disgruntled fans, although Newcastle still hold a top-half position in the league table.

And Swansea will arrive at St James' Park following a week that has not passed trouble-free, given newspaper reports of a training ground bust-up prior to last Sunday's loss to Chelsea.

Monk believes a source outside the club is trying to unsettle Swansea, and he he claims to have "a good idea" of where the information emanated from.

"I will tell you the truth. It was an incident that was blown out of proportion, it was handbags," he said.

"It was all over and done with, no problems whatsoever, and then it gets blown out of proportion. We have got a good idea of the source that it has come from to try and unsettle us at this time.

"I've asked people to step up, and training is more intense and the tempo is higher, and they (players) are all doing it.

"They are a good group of lads. You get these things now and then, whether from five-a-side or shooting practice, because they want to win, but it's dealt with.

"Things happen on the pitch and behind closed doors every single day in football and other sports. The players don't make a deal of it, but others do and you deal with that.

"You speak as a group, but it was dealt with, the session moved on and everyone was fine. We make sure it doesn't unsettle us and we do what we have to do.

"Morale and spirit is fine, and we are looking forward to four games to do what we have to do."