Garry Monk says Swansea will not sign
replacements to fill in for Ki Sung-yueng and
Wilfried Bony in January.
Ki will captain South Korea at the Asian Cup
whilst Bony will play for the Ivory Coast at the
African Cup of Nations.
The pair could miss as many as six games
after the game at QPR on New Year’s Day.
“When Bony and Ki are out for that period it’s
for someone to step up to that level,” Monk
“We’ve got a very good squad and I’m not
going to be making wholesale changes at all.
“There are certain positions we will look to
strengthen and if we can get the right player
to fit into the squad that’s the only time I’ll do
“Other than that we’ll go with what we’ve got.
“I’ve got full confidence in the squad right now
and it’s just adding quality to accompany
what we’ve got.”
Midfielder Ki, who spent last season on loan
at Sunderland, has been an ever-present in the
Premier League this campaign.
Wilfried Bony scored twice for the Ivory Coast
at the 2014 World Cup
Striker Bony is top scorer with eight goals so
far this season and signed a one-year
contract extension with the Swans in
Swansea go into Saturday’s Premier League
game at Hull City having lost their previous
two games against West Ham away and at
home to Tottenham.
Monk’s side lost 1-0 at Hull in April and they
have failed to score on their three previous
visits to the KC Stadium.
Hull have won only once at home all season
go into Saturday’s game against ninth-placed
Swansea, having not won a Premier League
match since their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace
on 4 October.
“Every team in this league is a different
challenge, the way they set up and the
different personnel and styles they have,”
“It’s getting your team to concentrate on
themselves but adjust enough to know where
the threats are from the other team.
“I would imagine they’re looking at this game
to turn around their form.
“They’ve got a very experienced manager who
will be looking at how to get them back to
winning ways and we expect a very difficult
“Hull will be different to what we’ve played
before, so the challenge for us is to perform
well enough to take the points.”
Super Eagles Assistant Coach Daniel
Amokachi has named 24 players from the
domestic scene for the upcoming friendly
games between Nigeria and Ivory Coast as
well as Mali in Abu Dubai.
Top on the list are Gombe United goalkeeper
Chigozie Agbim, Kingsley Sokari, Emem Uduok
and Gambo Mohammed.
Others are Daniel Akpeyi (Warri Wolves);
Theophilus Afelokhai (Kano Pillars), Solomon
Kwambe (Sunshine Stars); Idris Aloma (El-
Kanemi FC); Chimma Akas (Sharks FC);
Nelson Ogbonna (Heartland FC); Azubuike
Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Erhun Obanor
(Bendel Insurance); Bright Esieme (Enyimba
FC) and Umar Zango (Kano Pillars).
Also on the list are Ammel Angel Wilfred (Kogi
United); Joseph Nathaniel (Sharks FC);
Charles Henlong (Giwa FC); Stanley Dimgba
(Warri Wolves); Rabiu Ali (Kano Pillars);
Chinedu Udeaga (Enugu Rangers); Emem
Eduok (Dolphins FC); Kingsley Sokari
Forwards: Mfon Udoh (Enyimba FC); Gbolahan
Salami (Warri Wolves); Osaguona Christian
(Enugu Rangers); Gambo Muhammad (Kano
Pillars) and Christian Obiozor (Enugu
Meanwhile, all the players invited are expected
to report at the Bolton White Apartments,
Abuja on Sunday, 28th December with their
international passports and four passport
Portugal’s coach, Paulo Bento, could be in trouble after appearing to question the integrity of the Serbian referee, Milorad Mazic, following Monday’s heavy defeat by Germany.
Bento’s team went from rated to ragged inside 45 minutes of their opening World Cupgame, presenting Germany with an easy 4-0 victory and losing three players in the process. Hugo Almeida and Fábio Coentrão were brought off with muscle strains and Pepe will definitely miss the next match, against the USA on Sunday, after picking up the dumbest of red cards eight minutes before the interval. Coentrão is out for at least 10 days and Bento is not confident of having Almeida back in time to face the USA.
“There were two occasions when the referee showed bias, first with the penalty and then with the sending off,” the Portugalcoach said. “I am not saying it was only the referee’s fault. We also made mistakes but the circumstances of what happened in the first half made the rest of the game difficult for us.”
In reality Portugal made life difficult for themselves. Most referees at the tournament would have awarded the penalty against Coentrão that allowed Thomas Müller to score the first of his three goals, from the spot. It could be argued that the defender did not literally pull Mario Götze over but he was clearly using his arms to impede the German’s progress.
The sending-off decision was even more clear cut. Pepe took it upon himself to admonish Müller for play-acting by sticking his head into his opponent’s face. The referee saw it as a headbutt, Müller was sitting on the turf, not doing anything to provoke such a response, and a player with Pepe’s experience, albeit one with a reputation for volatility, badly let down his team-mates in a game of such significance. Not that Bento was willing to point the finger at his defender.
“The sending-off was forced on the player,” he said, somewhat opaquely. “I don’t know if it was because of Pepe’s reputation. It depends what sort of a reputation you think Pepe has.” As of now, it is an even greater one for unreliability than he had before.
In addition the player Portugal were pinning hopes on, Cristiano Ronaldo, had one of his quieter games. It would be harsh to say he failed to turn up – he tried his best and was lively in the opening stages – but his recent injury seems to have taken a lot of the fizz out of his performance.
“Even before Portugal went down to 10 men we were dominating the game,” Joachim Löw said. “We knew their main attacking threats would be Ronaldo and Nani and we controlled them quite comfortably. We sealed them off. We said before the start that our only option was to try and win this game – any other result would have been unacceptable – and we made an excellent opening to the World Cup.
“It was very hot on the pitch and the players noticed that the temperature was taking a toll on fitness but fortunately we were able to establish a winning lead quite early in the game. Any coach has to be satisfied with 3-0 at half-time, whatever the conditions.”
Germany did not come through completely unscathed. Mats Hummels had to leave the pitch with a thigh strain, though thanks to Müller’s hat-trick, the first of the tournament, they were never in trouble. “It was an uphill struggle for Portugal in the second half,” the Bayern Munich striker said. “It was a great start for us, we played an excellent game, but this was just the opener. We have two more group games to play and the focus remains on reaching the knockout stages.”