22:23 12th December 2013
. . . Swans boss believes qualification is the most important thing despite 1-0 defeat to St. Gallen
Michael Laudrup believes the end result was the most important thing after his side qualified for the knockout phase of the Europa League despite suffering defeat to St. Gallen in Switzerland.
The Swans were beaten 1-0 by the Swiss side at the AFG Arena, courtesy of Marco Mathys’ 80th minute winner.
After Sebastien Wuthrich had a goal ruled out for a foul on Neil Taylor just minutes earlier, the Swiss midfielder turned provider to set up the goal that secured St. Gallen’s first win in the Europa League group stage.
But despite the defeat on the night, the Swans qualify for the knockout phase of the European competition in 2nd place in Group A after Kuban Krasnodar drew 1-1 with Valencia in Spain, and Laudrup believes the end result is what matters the most.
“The final result is the most important thing – we are through,” said Laudrup. “In a week or a couple of weeks, we won’t think about how we got there, we just know that we are among the last 32.
“We are there because we deserve it. You can always say we could have done more but, overall, we are there because we got enough points.
“I think we controlled the first-half quite well. We had two or three good shots from Roland, and with a little more luck, they could have gone in.
“In the second-half, we gave away two big chances to them, then Chico had to go off, and we had to play 10 minutes with Canas as centre-half because Ashley had to warm up.
“But we gave away too many chances, and it was unnecessary to do that.
“I don’t think yesterday’s delays was a problem. I think it was the combination of playing on Monday and the number of games we have.
“You want to use players like Michu, but we are only in mid-December. I really don’t want to play him for one game, even a decisive one, and risk losing him again.”
Aside from defeat on the night, the only other negative for the Swans was the loss of Chico, who limped off midway through the second-half.
“We will have to wait a couple of days to know exactly how bad it is,” explained Laudrup. “It was a knee knock.
“I can’t really say anything more but that he is out for Sunday’s game through suspension anyway.
“The positive is that Bony played 65 minutes and didn’t feel any problems – Wayne as well.”
Meanwhile, St Gallen manager Jeff Saibene believes his side’s victory over the Swans was a great way to end the year, ahead of the Swiss Super League’s winter break.
“It’s been an excellent year for St Gallen with qualifying for the Europa League, and tonight’s result was great.
“My impression was that we were physically in better shape. Swansea seemed tired in the second-half, and we created some great chances. It is fantastic to end 2013 like this.”