Belfast Telegraph

Late check for Montero

Swansea will make a late check on Ecuador winger Jefferson Montero before Hull's Barclays Premier League visit to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Montero suffered a muscle strain against Mexico during the international break and the injury is not as serious as first feared, but on-loan Spurs midfielder Tom Carroll is definitely out after damaging ankle ligaments on England Under-21 duty and might not play again this season.

Midfielder Leon Britton and defender Kyle Bartley are both back in training after being absent in recent weeks and have been added to the Swansea squad.

Swans manager Garry Monk insists he wants to add quality players and not sell them this summer ahead of a season which he has described as "probably one of the biggest in the club's history".

Monk had to contend with transfer speculation surrounding two of his players during the international break as Poland goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was linked to Roma while Wales defender Neil Taylor is reportedly interesting West Brom.

But Monk says his only focus is on squad strengthening this summer, with the new £5.1billion three-year Premier League TV rights deal from the 2016-17 season upping the ante as far as the next campaign is concerned.

"I want to build on what we have, add quality and not take it away," Monk said ahead of Hull's visit.

"I want to finish the season as strong as possible and put that way of working into them because it's probably one of the biggest in the club's history if you look at the rewards for next season.

"The new TV rights and the money the club can gain is massive, that's why next season is so important and we don't lose any quality in the summer."

Hull midfielder David Meyler says he is totally convinced the Tigers will hang on to their Premier League status.

Steve Bruce's side are in 15th place, three points off the relegation zone, but have a tough run-in with five of their last eight matches against clubs in the top seven of the Premier League.

The Tigers have impressed however against top sides, drawing 1-1 away at Manchester City and losing 3-2 to Chelsea in a match they could easily have won.

Meyler said: "We are not going down. We just have to get into the mentality that it is not good enough to accept the 3-2 defeat to Chelsea, even if they are likely Premier League champions.

"We had some great chances and we need to win these games when you get into those positions."

He added: "We're down to the last eight games now and this is where we have to earn our money.

"This is the period when everything will be decided so we've got eight games to make sure we finish as well as we can and that is what we aim to do.

"We finished 17th last season and at the moment, we're 15th this season so we're a little bit ahead.

"What we want to do here is maintain Premier League status for a number of years to come and we'll do what we have to do to achieve that aim and build this club.

"We've got eight games to come, against some decent teams, but I'm sure we can get the wins we need if we keep performing like we did in games against the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool and for 70 minutes against Chelsea.

"It will be tough against Swansea but we're going there with the mentality that we can get some points."

Hull will be hugely boosted by the return of Senegal midfielder Mohamed Diame after a long injury absence, and James Chester is also back in the squad.

Gaston Ramirez is fit to play despite concerns about an injury picked up on international duty.


From Belfast Telegraph