Belfast Telegraph

Ashley Williams urges Swansea to keep hold of Wilfried Bony

By Staff Reporter

Swansea skipper Ashley Williams is hoping the club can build on a perfect start to the season by keeping star striker Wilfried Bony. Garry Monk's men made it two wins out of two on Saturday by backing up the shock opening-day win at Manchester United with a 1-0 home victory over newly-promoted Burnley.

Monk added to his squad last week by signing £8million Napoli defender Federico Fernandez and Spurs midfielder Tom Carroll on a season-long loan deal, but it is the potential loss of key personnel which Williams is concerned about after putting six points on the board.

Bony has been linked with Liverpool and Tottenham after his goal-scoring exploits in the Premier League last season and for the Ivory Coast at the World Cup in Brazil – and Williams knows the importance of keeping the muscular 25-year-old frontman beyond the September 1 transfer deadline.

"It's not for me to say who comes in, but I don't want to lose anyone," said the Wales defender after celebrating his 30th birthday with a first home victory of the season.

"I think we have got a lot of talent at the moment with depth on the bench and the more quality players we have in our squad, the better.

"Bony looked the best I have seen him in pre-season. He is hungry and disappointed when he doesn't score.

"We are really glad to have him, especially after the speculation about him. It just shows how important he is to our team.

"I feel good about the squad, there are some good personalities and the talent in the team is really good."

Swansea had to withstand a committed second-half show from Burnley as the Clarets poured forward in search of an equaliser to Nathan Dyer's first-half strike.

But Swansea held firm with Burnley restricted to only a couple of chances and and Williams feels that is a good sign moving forward.

"I sometimes get the feeling that people think we are a passing side, a bit weak and a pushover," Williams said. "But Burnley are a big, strong physical side. We stood up to it and knocked back most things they threw at us.

"They had chances, which they are going to have when you are under pressure, but we defended well as a team – especially on set-pieces. Sometimes you need to win ugly, we did that and it just goes to show we can do that when we put our minds to it."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche said his Premier League new boys are on a steep learning curve after failing to pick up points in their opening two games against Chelsea and Swansea.

But he admitted that he is working within tight financial guidelines and Burnley have a long way to go even before they match the likes of Swansea in the transfer market.

"In terms of what we want to bring in it is not just about what we are seeing, it is what we can bring in financially. It is a tough challenge," Dyche said.

"Look at Swansea. They have spent £10million-£12million and it has taken them three years to allow themselves that sort of jump in finance. We are not there and it is is important to do it in the right fashion."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph