Belfast Telegraph

Stage was set for Ki to strike

Swansea's Ki Sung-yueng revealed his first Liberty Stadium goal against QPR was even more special as his actress wife was in the crowd.

The South Korean midfielder joined Swansea for a then club record £5.5million fee in August 2012 but was sent out on loan to Sunderland last season where he was influential in helping the Black Cats win their battle for top-flight survival.

Ki returned to south Wales last summer and the former Celtic playmaker has repaid manager Garry Monk's faith in him by playing in every Barclays Premier League game as Swansea have climbed into the top six.

The 25-year-old scored his first Swansea goal in a 2-1 win at Manchester United on the opening day of the season but he had to wait until Tuesday's 2-0 victory over QPR to register in front of Liberty Stadium fans who included his wife Han Hye-jin.

Ki celebrated his goal by making a heart sign with his hands, and said: "It was for my wife who was in the crowd.

"She comes to every game so she's been waiting a while.

"Normally I'm not a player who scores - it happens once every three months - but it was nice to score in front of her."

Monk said after Swansea's victory that he had told Ki "it was about time he scored" - and his late effort was perfectly timed as it finally broke QPR's resistance before Wayne Routledge added gloss with a second against his former club.

But Ki said there was no extra pressure on him to score, even if the return of midfield anchorman Leon Britton a fter long-term injury allowed him to play in a more advanced role.

"He (Monk) doesn't want to put us under pressure to score, he just gives us more encouragement and is patient with us," Ki said.

"We have great attacking players in front of me who are always making great chances, so we are not worried about scoring.

"It happens sometimes in games that you can't, but I've tried to improve myself and I wanted to score more.

"Normally I stay at the back but I got the chance to push on and my first goal in front of the home fans was very meaningful."

Swansea travel to West Ham next on Sunday with Sam Allardyce's side two points better off than the Welsh club a fter their 2-1 win at West Brom, and Ki said he is expecting a tough physical examination in east London.

"It's not always easy away from home, especially at West Ham," Ki said. "We have to be physically ready.

"I'm sure we will have chances so we know we have to concentrate on our defensive work and give us possibility to win.

"I am not sure if we are better than when I first came here but we are getting better results.

"We are sixth after this amount of games for the first time and all the boys are mentally prepared to achieve. It is different."

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