Swansea manager Garry Monk feels the row over Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro going on to the pitch at Stamford Bridge last weekend overshadowed his side’s performance against the Barclays Premier League champions.
Monk’s men held Chelsea to a 2-2 draw but most of the subsequent headlines have centred on first-team doctor Carneiro rushing on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard, in the process momentarily reducing the 10-man Blues to nine players.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho later described the actions of the club’s medical staff as “impulsive and naive” and Press Association Sport understands that Carneiro, while retaining her current job title, will no longer be involved in matches or training sessions.
Speaking before Saturday’s home game against Newcastle, Monk said it was not his duty to discuss internal decisions taken at Chelsea but he insisted the row had deflected focus away from Swansea claiming their first point at Stamford Bridge in five Premier League attempts.
“I was focused on my team, I didn’t pay attention to what was happening there and it’s not my job to give an opinion,” Monk said.
“What Chelsea choose to do internally is their choice and the manager has the right to have whoever he wants on the bench, that’s his prerogative and for others to judge.
“The disappointing part of it all is that’s what the national press has decided to focus on and not the performance my players put on.
“To go to the champions in the first game of the season and put a performance like that on… it’s been overshadowed.”
Asked whether player welfare should come first in such incidents, Monk replied: “My medical staff understand how I work, what I expect from them and how we work.
“I can only judge that, I’m not here to judge another club’s medical team and what they do. We know what we expect and that’s all I care about.
“It’s quite natural the top teams are expected to win and when it doesn’t happen people tend to focus on the wrong things rather than what the opposition did well not to allow them to win the game.
“I understand that, but it’s my job as manager to stick up for my players and give them credit they deserve as much as the criticism when the negatives come their way.
“It’s one game and we’re not getting carried away. We’ve got a lot to do but when credit’s due we should get it and unfortunately we didn’t because the media followed that story.”
SEE MORE: Read Swansea’s 2015/16 season preview.
Monk said the performance at Stamford Bridge reflected the maturity in a side which finished a club-best eighth in the Premier League last season with a record points total.
“I spoke to them before about belief and I think you saw that for 45 minutes at Chelsea last year, but when things went wrong we lost our way,” Monk said.
“But you saw that belief for 90 minutes on Saturday. Unfortunately we went behind twice but we’ve shown we learned and ended the ones creating the danger.
“I knew they would be focused, I had no worries about them because of their maturity as a side.”
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