Monk wary of "imposing" Bony

Swansea boss Garry Monk knows from painful personal experience all about the imposing physical threat of Wilfried Bony.

Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal and Wilfried Bony of Swansea City

And Monk believes the 25-year-old Ivory Coast striker, who has scored 20 goals this season, could be a World Cup star in Brazil later this year.

Bony's impact at Swansea has proved a considerable one since he arrived from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem for £12million last summer.

While the Swans have struggled for consistency and stand just five points above the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's Liberty Stadium appointment with Norwich, Bony has been a consistent success story.

"He dislocated my finger on the first day (of training)," former club captain and now head coach Monk said.

"I went to push off him - it was a corner or something - and it just snapped my hand back. My finger was just dropping down. That was the first day, so I thought 'all right - solid guy'."

Bony has carried much of Swansea's work-load up front this season with Spanish star Michu only recently back in action following three months out injured.

But they teamed up together in the 2-2 draw at Arsenal in midweek, and they could have a key influence across the next seven games as Swansea target Premier League survival.

Monk believes Bony could end up having a similar impact on Swansea as his fellow Ivorian Didier Drogba made during his time with Chelsea.

"Yeah, he (Bony) can have the same impact - definitely," Monk added. "I think he has shown that, and with Michu back now, they will both want to be the top dog.

"They will both want to be the top player or the top goalscorer. If you have that competition between players, then nine times out of 10, they push each other. Hopefully, they can take each other to higher levels.

"They are also young enough to develop into better players. So, it's crucial the club keeps that calibre of player. It will help us push on in the future.

"He (Bony) could be one of the stars (of the World Cup). He will deserve it if he is.

"He is a clever bloke. When you speak to him one-on-one he talks well about football. He knows his stuff and you can have a good conversation with him.

"He is a great guy and the fans have really appreciated him - especially the second-half of the season and the goals he has scored.

"He loves that. Strikers want to feel loved - there are not many I know who don't feel like that - so it is important for our crowd to keep backing him, and the same with Michu."

Swansea defender Neil Taylor, meanwhile, has given unequivocal backing to Monk as the Welsh club prepare for Norwich's visit.

Monk has overseen a solitary win since he was put in charge at the Liberty Stadium following Michael Laudrup's managerial exit just over seven weeks ago, with no announcement yet on whether or not he will keep the role beyond this season.

But Wales international Taylor has no doubt about Monk's quality as Swansea look to build on an impressive result at Arsenal.

"We definitely think he is the right man to take us forward. We are all giving our all for him," Taylor said.

"You can talk about experience, but he has got experience from three or four of the best managers around at the moment - (Roberto) Martinez, (Brendan) Rodgers and (Pablo) Souza. He has learnt from all of them.

"He was captain under a lot of them, and he has been at the club for 10 years. He knows this football club better than anyone."

Victory over Norwich would give Swansea breathing space, and Taylor accepts that points are all that matter at this stage of the season.

"It wasn't pretty (against Arsenal), it wasn't really the Swansea way the other night, but we scrapped and gave it our all. We got a good point, and maybe could have got three," he added.

"It will take our quality that we have on the ball and that bit of scrapping. If we can do both, we will be more than a match for all these teams around us."



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