Today's media round-up

16th October

With the international break now over, the focus is now firmly back on the Barclays Premier League.
Spanish defender Chico Flores believes it's time the Swans showed their true quality when they host bottom club Sunderland at the Liberty on Saturday.
And Chico could go up against Scottish striker Steven Fletcher as the Black Cats' record signing is in line for a return following a shoulder injury.

South Wales Evening Post
Chico Flores: Swans must prove their class against Sunderland

Chico Flores admits it is time for Swansea City to prove their class when they return to Premier League action against Sunderland this weekend.

Swansea are only outside the top-flight relegation zone on goal difference after a difficult start to the season.

Michael Laudrup's men have taken just one point from their three home league games to date, while defeats at Spurs and Southampton have sandwiched away victories over West Brom and Crystal Palace.

With six Europa League games and one in the Capital One Cup already under their belts, Swansea's players have endured a taxing start to the new campaign. And with a slightly gentler run of fixtures ahead, Flores concedes that Swansea must now look to climb the table.

"We have to be ready for Sunderland because we have to think that we need three points from this game," the centre-back said.

"We are capable of beating any team - we showed that last year when we had some very big results.

"But it's true that the most important games for us are the ones like Sunderland and West Ham (who visit the Liberty on October 27).

"These teams are in the same league as us, so we have to compete with them.

"We have to do well in these games and we really need the points this weekend."

Chico is part of a skeleton Swansea squad who have been working hard on the training ground during the international break. Laudrup has been left keeping fingers crossed over the likes of Michu, Michel Vorm and Wilfried Bony, who are all on their way back to SA1 after international duty.

And Swansea are also sweating over the fitness of Ben Davies (hamstring) and Ashley Williams (ankle) after they sat out Wales's World Cup games against Macedonia and Belgium.

Sunderland will arrive desperate for points after a dismal start to the season - but Swansea are hungry for a result too.

Laudrup's team have not won any of their last eight home league games, a run which stretches back to the victory over Newcastle back on March 2.

"We have had some difficult games at home - we have played Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal already this season," Chico pointed out.

"But we have had some good home wins in the Europa League and I don't think we are playing badly at home.

"I don't believe we have not played well at home - we have played okay, but we have had some very difficult games. But now is the time when we have to show what we can do. The games have been difficult, but now we have to win at home."

Sunderland Echo
Sunderland's Fletcher in running for Swans clash

Steven Fletcher has made a much swifter return from a shoulder injury sustained last month and could potentially feature in this weekend's game against Swansea City.

The Sunderland striker was badly hurt when he fell heavily on his shoulder in what turned out to be Paolo Di Canio's last game as head coach - the 3-0 defeat at West Brom on September 21.

Although the injury was not as bad as first feared, it was still expected to sideline the Scottish international for up to six weeks.

But less than a month after the incident, Fletcher (right)is pushing for a first-team return with Black Cats boss Gus Poyet revealing there is every likelihood that the forward might feature in Saturday's game at the Liberty Stadium.

"There is a big possibility," Poyet confirmed. "It's some of the very good news from this week.

"Every player is important but we know in football that there is a few positions that are key; the goalkeeper, the spine of the team and the main man up front scoring goals.

"We need goals; we need players who have got the ability and Fletcher is one of those players."