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Reaction: Blues 2 Stoke City 0

It’s the attitude of the performance that makes me proud – complete attitude, complete togetherness, fighting as hard as possible for every single yard, every single ball – and then we’ve shown our quality on top and scored two outstanding goals.

Garry Monk

Garry Monk reacts to today's fantastic Boxing Day win over the Potters.

Garry Monk’s thoughts on this afternoon’s performance and result…

“It was a fantastic three points and back-to-back wins. It was always going to be hard, I said to the players before that we’ve got four games in 11 days and the challenge for us is to maximise what we can do in that period, and with an attitude that we can go for it. Of course, we play with pressure, but our attitude typified what we’ve done all season. We’ve got a strong mentality to work for each other. Those players worked incredibly hard today for each other and that shone through and in the end that quality allowed us to get the goals that we got and to put on a performance like that.”

Garry Monk on the threat that Stoke posed...

“When you play against Stoke and the quality they’ve got in their squad, you’ve got to rise to those challenges. We knew we were going to have to defend well and withstand moments of pressure. We didn’t have a lot on our goal, but they did have some moments where they could have hurt us, a few set-pieces in the second-half that were dangerous, with (Peter) Crouch on the pitch and (Ryan) Shawcross, those types of players. We dealt well with that and we looked really dangerous as the game wore on. The longer it was 1-0, they were throwing caution to the wind and more gaps for us to exploit. It’s the attitude of the performance that makes me proud – complete attitude, complete togetherness, fighting as hard as possible for every single yard, every single ball – and then we’ve shown our quality on top and scored two outstanding goals. Omar’s goal typified that, they all celebrate together – the subs are up, the bench are up; it’s very unified.”

Garry Monk on the win moving Blues up to seventh in the Championship and within two points of the play-offs…

“It would be a lie if I said I don’t look at the league and where we are. But, honestly, we haven’t focused on the table at all, it doesn’t matter to us. It’s not what we’re here for. A lot of our players have been involved in the last couple of years where things haven’t gone so well, and they’ve wanted to put that right. We just want to show that this type of club deserves better and shouldn’t be in those difficult positions. Come and ask me with two games to go and we’ll chat about it, but right now it’s about what we do in each game. We haven’t got the luxury of rotating players, strategically pulling players off and resting them for the next game. It’s just this game, that’s all that matters. We’ll deal with the rest afterwards.”

Garry Monk on the terrific long-range strike from Omar Bogle – his first goal for the Club – which sealed the win late on…

“It was fantastic. It was difficult for Omar, coming in a little bit after what we’d done in pre-season, to get up to speed and to understand exactly what we want. He found it difficult to start with, but he’s been growing all the time behind the scenes, especially in the last month or so he’s been fantastic in training, really stepped up. We all know what he can do, it’s not about scoring goals, it’s about all the other work that he needed to do and understand. Once you nail that then the chances come, and it goes for you and today typifies that. I’m very pleased for him, and it was a crucial goal at a crucial time for us.”

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