. . . Swans boss hoping for more of the same against Sunderland on Tuesday
Michael Laudrup insists his side head to Sunderland full of confidence following their recent run of good form.
The Swans travel to the Stadium of Light for Tuesday night’s Barclays Premier League clash on the back of reaching the Capital One Cup final.
Last week’s draw with Chelsea at the Liberty sealed a 2-0 aggregate win over the European champions as Laudrup’s men reached a major final for the first time in the club’s 100-year history.
That achievement capped what has been an excellent few months, with the Swans having lost just once in their last 10 matches in all competitions.
“We never have any fear, but we always respect the opponent,” said Laudrup. “But we go into Tuesday’s game with confidence having already won six away games this season.
“Away wins are important because they give you something extra. We are on 33 points at the moment but we want to get to the 40-point mark as quickly as we can.
“The target before the season started was survival. When we arrive there, we’ll see how many games we have left and then look at a new target.”
Sunderland had a difficult start to the season, with Martin O’Neill’s men struggling near the foot of the table.
However, a good run of results – including victory over reigning champions Manchester City - has propelled the Black Cats up to 11th in the Premier League table.
But Laudrup is hoping for more of the same from his players at the Stadium of Light.
“When you play an inconsistent team, you never quite know what you’re going to get,” he said.
“But we’ll be looking at where we can hurt them with the players we have, and if we continue at the level we have been playing at, then anything can happen.”
The Swans have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Wearside, with defender Neil Taylor and midfielder Kemy Agustien being the only notable absentees.
Tuesday’s game marks the end of what has been a hectic January for the Swans, with Laudrup’s men having played seven games already this month.
Every player has played their part in recent weeks, and the boss hailed the squad as they prepare for the final months of the campaign.
“We have used a big part of the squad so far, and that is very important,” he said. “It is important that players play as much as possible, because everyone wants to play.
“Our defence has improved over the last few months. We’ve conceded less goals, particularly away from home, and that has been very pleasing.”
Meanwhile, with the January transfer window set to slam shut on Thursday evening, there is still speculation within the media surrounding the future of striker Danny Graham.
However, Laudrup made his stance perfectly clear as he responded to questions at Monday’s press conference: “We want him to stay.”