Angel Rangel: We need Ashley Williams to be fit and refreshed for Swansea City
ANGEL Rangel expects Ashley Williams to come back fit and ready to resume as Swansea City captain after the international break.
Williams has missed the last four games — three of which Swansea have lost — with a nagging ankle injury.
He returned to the bench for Sunday's defeat at Southampton, but did not make an appearance as Jordi Amat partnered Chico Flores to form an all-Spanish centre-back pairing.
Though not a major problem, Williams has opted to sit out recent matches in an attempt to avoid aggravating the ankle and turning it into a more serious issue.
The Wales captain will play no part in his country's final two World Cup qualifiers after being named Welsh club player of the year.
But Rangel is confident his fellow defender will be repaired and recharged when Swansea resume Premier League action with a home match against Sunderland a week on Saturday.
"Ash has not really trained with the team. He's been having treatment," said the right-back, who skippered Swansea in Williams's absence last weekend.
"Obviously, he will be fit when we come back. How many Premier League games did he play in a row without a rest?
"Ash has not had many injuries. Hopefully he will be back to full fitness, get back in the team and help us."
Williams made 166 consecutive league appearances for Swansea — and played three play-off matches — before a bout of sickness forced him to miss a 3-0 win at Fulham in March 2012.
The former Stockport player remained a talismanic figure for Swansea last season, missing just a handful of games as he regularly captained the side.
Garry Monk handed him the armband on a permanent basis over a summer, which brought rumours of a big-money move to Arsenal, and Williams continues to be a key player.
"Ash is an important player for us. He has been a consistent and regular player for us week in, week out," added Rangel.
"But I thought Jordi played well. He has been playing for the last few games and he's shown even at his age that he's a top player.
"He's not as strong as Ashley and his leadership is probably missing a little bit.
"But one is 29 and one is 21. You can't blame Jordi for anything because he has fitted in so well."