Hughes denies claims ‘big character’ Bony is ‘bad influence’

Wilfried Bony: Accusations denied by Hughes

Wilfried Bony is being backed to get among the goals regularly for Stoke after Mark Hughes was forced to deny a number of misleading reports about the Ivorian.

Bony’s lean spell ended with a brace against former employers Swansea as both he, and another ex-Swans midfielder Joe Allen haunted their old team by playing key roles in the Potters’ 3-1 victory.

It had been 310 days since Bony’s last goal on Boxing Day and the one-time leading scorer in the Eredivisie, who netted 25 times in his first season with the Swans, had failed to rediscover his touch at the start of his season-long loan from Manchester City.

However, having once gone seven games without scoring at the start of his second term with Swansea before following that up with nine in 15, Hughes hopes a similar streak can now be replicated in Staffordshire.

“I think everyone suspected they’d have an impact,” Hughes said of Bony and Allen.

“I’m pleased for Wilfried, his general play has been good, all he was lacking in his performances was a goal.

“He’s thankfully got up and running now. I think he had a similar period when he was at Swansea but once he started scoring it was a case of he couldn’t stop. Hopefully it will be a case of history repeating itself.

“Wilfried’s a big character, a big personality, he’s been great around the place. There was some nonsense when he first came suggesting he was a bad influence, I don’t know where the hell that came from because it certainly wasn’t the case.

“He’s very popular and you could see the reaction when he scored, everyone was really pleased when he got off the mark.”