Pain-free Michu to boost Swans
Published 20/03/2014 | 23:12
Swansea are set to have a "pain-free" Michu spearheading their attacking armoury for what could be a Barclays Premier League relegation dog fight.
The Spanish striker made his return as a substitute against West Brom last weekend after three months out recovering from ankle trouble.
And with Swansea currently just four points above the drop zone, his proven goal-scoring ability could help steer them to safety.
Rumours have abounded that Michu could leave Swansea this summer, but head coach Garry Monk says that is not a situation he is aware of.
"He is a very quiet guy and reserved and he doesn't speak much," Monk said, ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton.
"When he does speak he speaks sense, and that (being unsettled) is not the impression I got from talking to him. He wants to do well for the club and for himself, and he wants to push on.
"He wants to be out there scoring goals, and that's what drives him. Had you seen him this week, you wouldn't have thought he was thinking about anything but doing well for the club.
"He is pain-free now, pushing himself in training, and that gives everyone else a lift.
"I can't just chuck him in there and expect him to do what we all know he can do. You just have to see what games we have got and see which games suit him, and go from there.
"I think it is trying to get Michu up to the level where he is ready to play properly. If we chuck in a half-fit Michu, and you have other players who are fully fit, it's poor towards the rest of the squad.
"But I understand his quality, and he is a massive player for us."
The prospect of Michu linking up again with an in-form Wilfried Bony has been on hold since December, but Monk knows how integral both players could be over the next seven weeks.
"They have the quality to score goals. They are a handful in their own rights," Monk added. "The more you have in your team like that, the better it is for you.
"Visually for the team, to see two strikers in training and battling for what they want to do and do well, is good for the squad."
Monk says he has no question marks over his players as they prepare for their remaining league games.
Swansea have not posted a league win since beating Cardiff almost six weeks ago, with last Saturday's 2-1 home defeat against West Brom leaving them still within striking distance of the bottom three clubs.
"The good thing for us is it's in our hands," Monk said. "We are not chasing to try and make up points. It is upon us to make sure we fight for every single point.
"I have got no question over the players. They all want to do well. Their attitude has been spot on.
"At the end of the day, they realise what is at stake. When you get questioned, you tend to get a reaction.
"Everyone always talks about the 40-point (safety) mark, but a lot of the teams have to play each other. A lot will drop points and a lot will get points.
"The reaction this week has been very good. You have to be honest with people. I told them straight after the game (West Brom) what I felt. They are all in it together and pushing each other.
"I am more than confident that in the coming games we will earn enough points to achieve what we want to achieve."
Jonjo Shelvey and Nathan Dyer are set to join Michu in being part of the squad for Goodison Park.
Shelvey has been out for almost a month with hamstring trouble, while Dyer missed the West Brom game due to a heel injury.
Swansea, who were knocked out of the FA Cup by Everton earlier this season, have never beaten the Merseyside club, and Saturday's clash sees a quickfire return appointment with their former manager Roberto Martinez.
"We realise how hard it will be, but we will go up there with a determination to try and get from a reaction from last weekend," Monk added
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