Gary Monk determined to keep Bony
Published 04/04/2014 | 17:57
Swansea boss Garry Monk has underlined star striker Wilfried Bony's long-term importance at the Liberty Stadium.
"We want to build a team around him," Monk said, of th e Ivory Coast international, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions this season and looks set to play a starring role for his country during the forthcoming World Cup.
Bony's performances during recent months have been given added credence, given his responsibility for leading the line in fellow striker Michu's 17-game injury absence.
And after making such an impression during his first full season of English football, Monk has conceded that Bony could become a target for other clubs.
"It may be that there is interest, but you could say that about players in every team," Monk said.
"Wilf is a Swansea player and we want him here. He is an important player for us, and I think he has got a good relationship with our crowd now, too.
"They have warmed to him, and he is really enjoying his time with us.
"We want him as part of our future. We want to build a team around him and players like him, and the good thing is that we are not a selling club.
"We want as many of our players to go to the World Cup as possible. I hope Wilf goes out there, does really well and then comes back here full of confidence."
Bony is set to spearhead Swansea's victory bid in a Barclays Premier League appointment with Hull at the KC Stadium on Saturday.
Fresh from a draw at Arsenal and a 3-0 home success against Norwich, another win this weekend would effectively put Swansea safe, possibly 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
"Everyone is fit, and that is good because we have still got a job to do this season," Monk added.
"We have a tough game this weekend against Hull, a side who have proved everyone wrong this season."
Winger Wayne Routledge, meanwhile, is determined to see Swansea meet Monk's challenge of staying unbeaten through the remaining games this season against Hull, Chelsea, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Southampton and Sunderland.
"It will be a tough ask, but why shouldn't we believe that we can do it?" Routledge said.
"We knew the position we were in at the start of last week, so to get four points (against Arsenal and Norwich) has made a big difference.
"Last Saturday everyone put in a shift, and that is what's needed. The manager won't let us ease off. Training has been intense and the standard has been high."
Hull welcome back George Boyd from his three-match suspension after being found guilty of spitting at Manchester City's Joe Hart.
Steve Harper continues to deputise in goal for Allan McGregor, who is due to be released from hospital this weekend , more than a week after suffering kidney damage against West Ham.
The Scotland international was injured after colliding with Mohamed Diame on March 26 - he was sent off before but the red card was later overturned.
Hull boss Steve Bruce said: ''We're hoping that he comes out of hospital at the weekend. He's out of the high dependency unit and things have gone as well as they could have for him in the circumstances, but it shows you what type of injury it is with him still being in hospital 10 days later.
''But we've got to make sure we do the right thing by him and make sure that he recovers from a really nasty injury.''
McGregor has been told he is out for the rest of the season but has told Bruce he still has an eye on playing in the FA Cup final if Hull beat Sheffield United in the semi-finals.
Bruce added: ''Typical Allan, the doctors say that he's going to be out for six weeks and he said to me on the phone, 'Yes, but the final is seven weeks' away'.
''I'm sure he'll be doing everything he possibly can to get himself back.''