Clement puts striker through belated ‘pre-season’

Swansea City

Paul Clement says it won't take long for Wilfried Bony to regain his match sharpness but the Swansea hitman still isn't ready to start.

Bony, who rejoined the club from Manchester City on a two-year contract, turned out for Swansea’s Under-23 side on Monday in a bid to raise his fitness levels.

And Clement feels that Bony’s 64-minute run-out, only a day after he came on for 20 minutes in the home defeat to Newcastle, will be useful in speeding up the Ivorian’s return to the starting line-up.

“I want to get him up to match fitness as soon as possible,” said Clement.

“That was an ideal opportunity, a home game at the Liberty [Stadium].

“He played 60 minutes, scored a goal, showed his leadership qualities, showed his strength, showed all the things that we knew about him.

“Now it’s about getting the match sharpness. He was tired towards the end of the 60 minutes, he was a bit achy a couple of days after it.”

Clement thinks the striker will need more minutes in his legs – as he mirrors the workload of a normal pre-season – before he can be considered for a starting berth.

“It won’t take him long, because he is very focused, very motivated to get back,” added the Englishman.

“All he’s played all pre-season is 60 minutes…what we can do is get him contributing off the bench in these early games and as soon as he’s ready, put him into a game.”