Ki relishing battle to regain starting role at the Swans
15th January 2015
Ki Sung-Yueng expects to face a battle to win back his starting role at Swansea City following his Asian Cup exploits with South Korea.
The Swans midfielder is currently away with his nation at the tournament in Australia, with South Korea having already qualified for the knockout stages ahead of Saturday's final group match with the host country thanks to victories over Oman and Kuwait.
Ki, who is captain of South Korea, has enjoyed a fine start to the domestic campaign with the Swans having scored vital goals in the wins over Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers and Hull City.
With all but one of his 20 Barclays Premier League appearances coming from the start, Ki has proved an important figure in Garry Monk's plans.
But with the likes of Leon Britton, Tom Carroll, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jonjo Shelvey - who sits out Saturday's fixture with Chelsea through suspension - competing for positions in midfield, Ki believes he faces a big challenge in order to return to the starting XI after returning from international duty.
"There will be an opportunity for someone to play in the midfield at Swansea as I'm away for a few weeks at least," said Ki, whose final Swans appearance prior to the Asian Cup came in the 1-1 draw at QPR.
"But I'm not worried because I know the boys will do well while I'm away. When I come back I may find myself on the bench or whatever - it doesn't matter, as long as the team is doing well.
"I'm sad not to be playing for Swansea at the moment, but on the other hand it's such an honour to play for my country and I really want to win the Asian Cup.
"To play in such a big competition at this stage of the season is not easy. The World Cup is different - it's after the season is over - while the Asian Cup kicks off straight away in the new year.
"But we want to win the tournament for the first time in 55 years and make our country proud."