Stoke City manager Mark Hughes insisted he never doubted Wilfried Bony after the on-loan striker scored his first goals for the Premier League club.
Without a goal since making the temporary move from Manchester City for the 2016-17 season, Bony finally opened his account with a brace in Monday’s 3-1 win over Swansea City.
Bony came back to haunt his former club, whom he left for City in 2015, scoring in each half to lead Stoke to a third consecutive victory.
Speaking in a news conference post-match, Hughes praised the 27-year-old Ivorian.
“I think his general play has been really good over the past few weeks, and all his game was missing was a goal or two to his name,” Hughes said.
“Thankfully he is up and running now, and, if my memory serves me right, he had a similar period when he joined Swansea when he wasn’t able to find his feet in the Premier League as quickly as he would have liked.
“Once he did manage to score though he couldn’t stop after that and hopefully history starts to repeat itself again here over the coming weeks and months.”
Hughes added: “There was a report, when he signed, suggesting that he was a bad influence around the place but I don’t know where the hell that came from because he is incredibly popular within the group.
“You can see that from the reaction of everybody once he scored his first goal – the guys were all delighted for him because they know how important a player for us he is.
“I see it in training day in, day out just what he offers and I think everybody has seen that, not just tonight, but since he arrived here.
“He is a quality player and somebody who can make a big impact here for us this season.”