Friday 26 December 2014

Michu in Swans frame

Published 14/03/2014 | 19:07

Michu is set to make his long-awaited comeback this weekend
Michu is set to make his long-awaited comeback this weekend

Striker Michu could make his comeback from a three-month ankle injury lay-off for Swansea when they host West Brom.

Midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and defender Kyle Bartley (both hamstring) are out but goalkeeper Michel Vorm has been cleared to play after overcoming illness.

The Swans will test midfielder Pablo Hernandez (hamstring).

Ahead of the clash Garry Monk said he does not care that Ronald Koeman's agent has been touting his client for the Swansea job.

Koeman's agent Guido Albers told the BBC that the former Holland defender is interested in moving to the Barclays Premier League when his contract expires with Feyenoord in the summer.

Albers said Koeman was "willing" to move to the Liberty Stadium as Swansea are a "fantastic club with a lot of potential."

Monk was appointed as Swansea boss "for the foreseeable future" following the sacking of Michael Laudrup.

Swansea are just four points from safety after failing to win any of their last six games, but Monk is not concerned by the comments coming from Koeman's camp.

"I don't care - it doesn't affect me," the Swansea manager told a press conference. "This is the business we are in.

"Players and managers will always be linked with other clubs, but I can't worry about that.

"Names will always be linked when a manager changes, and I guess this shows that everyone wants to work in the Premier League. It's the most exciting league in the world so I don't blame people for trying to get linked with certain jobs.

"But I just have to focus on what I am doing, and that always means the next game."

West Brom will be without several players.

Steven Reid (knee), Claudio Yacob (hamstring) and captain Chris Brunt (knee) will all be absent. Diego Lugano was already sidelined with a similar problem - he faces three to four weeks out - and Billy Jones (hamstring) is not yet ready to return.

Striker Nicolas Anelka begins his five-match suspension after both he and the Football Association declined to appeal against the sanction imposed over his 'quenelle' goal celebration against West Ham.

West Brom head coach Pepe Mel is sure Albion can secure at least four victories from their remaining 10 Barclays Premier League matches this season - but for now is focused solely on Saturday's trip to Swansea.

If the relegation-threatened Baggies do register a quartet of wins between now and the end of the term, it will double the amount for their entire top-flight campaign to date.

With the club having triumphed only once in their last 18 league fixtures and not at all since Mel, who they have now played under seven times, was appointed as boss in January, it appears an unlikely prospect, but the Spaniard has made it clear he has confidence in his players.

That he has also stressed he is not really looking beyond what he regards as a 'must-win' game on Saturday is perhaps of little surprise, given reports have suggested his job is already under threat.

Mel himself has admitted he does not know what will happen to him if West Brom fail to beat Swansea.

And the 51-year-old said: "It is possible to win four more games - and, indeed, win more than that.

"But we just have to think about the next game and winning that one.

"I'm not thinking about there being 10 games, I'm just thinking about there being one game.

"We must take each game as it comes and always be thinking about the next one."

Press Association

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