Arriving on the south coast without a top-flight victory since St Stephen’s Day, few expected their rotten recent form to improve in yesterday’s late kick-off.
However, Swansea managed to frustrate the hosts, with a resolute defence and dollop of luck allowing them to eke out a 1-0 win, courtesy of Jonjo Shelvey’s fine, late strike.
“I am happy with the three points after what has been a difficult month for us,” Monk said. “We have lost players, had injuries, players away on international duty and suspensions. It has been difficult for us but I talked in the week about getting back to basics.
“We came here with a game plan and I thought we executed that game plan very well.”
This was certainly not the free-flowing Swansea onlookers have become accustomed to, with the players instead displaying a dogged side.
Things could have been so different had Lukasz Fabianski not reacted quickly to deny James Ward-Prowse a first ever league goal in the opening 10 minutes — the hosts’ best chance of a one-sided first half.
Swansea had to defend impressively to keep Saints at bay but were coming close on their rare forays forward, with Bafetimbi Gomis hitting a half-volley just wide and Shelvey hitting the post.
They were warning shots Southampton failed to heed as Shelvey made space to fire home from distance in a frantic finale, with Ryan Bertrand sent off for a nasty challenge on Modou Barrow after Ashley Williams made two goal-line clearances in quick succession to deny Sadio Mane.
Ronald Koeman did not think Bertrand’s challenge was worthy of a sending off.
“In my opinion, it is not a red card,” the Dutchman said. “These fouls in my opinion is yellow. It’s not a red card.”
SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand, Steven Davis, Reed (Mane 63), Tadic, Ward-Prowse, Elia (Seager 90), Pelle.
SWANSEA: Fabianski, Naughton (Rangel 82), Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Fulton, Carroll, Dyer, Shelvey, Emnes (Barrow 16), Gomis, Barrow (Amat 90).
Referee: Michael Oliver.