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Laudrup aiming for fairytale ending

PUBLISHED

16:49 21st February 2013

. . . Swans boss looks ahead to Sunday's Capital One Cup final at Wembley


Michael Laudrup is hoping his side can finish what they started by going on to lift the Capital One Cup this weekend.
The Swans face Bradford City of League Two in Sunday’s showpiece at Wembley, hoping to win the first major silverware in the club’s
history.
After what has been a wonderful season thus far, Laudrup’s men now have the chance to rewrite the history books at the home of English
football.
Just two years ago the Swans clinched promotion to the Premier League at Wembley with that Play-Off final victory over Reading.
But Laudrup now wants his players to go one better and lift that first major trophy.
“I know the importance of this game for both the fans and for the city,” he said. “Since the semi-final we have had three away games and
one at home.
“We did well in those games, but I wanted to put the final to one side and focus on the league. But now we are only three days away from
Wembley and everyone is really looking forward to it.
“But I’ll be very proud to lead the team out. It is going to be a great day for everyone involved with the club, and let’s hope that it
ends as well as it started.”
Bradford have stunned the whole of football by reaching the final of this year’s competition.
The Bantams, currently 11th in League Two, are in their first major cup final since lifting the FA Cup back in 1911.
But despite 69 league places separating the two teams, Laudrup insists his players will not be taking Bradford lightly after their wins of
Arsenal, Wigan and Aston Villa in this season’s League Cup.
“Everyone knows that cup finals are unpredictable,” he said. “But we have to accept that we are the favourites.
“It is fantastic what Bradford have done to get to the final, and we accept that we are the ones who will have to take the initiative in
the game and force the issue.
“But my players won’t underestimate Bradford. They have been very, very good from set pieces during the competition and they will
probably want to play on the counter attack.
“We have prepared like any other week. We have trained as usual, we’ll travel to London on Saturday, have some dinner and sleep. Then it will
be Sunday and we play the game.”
10 years ago this weekend Swansea suffered a 4-0 defeat away at Hartlepool – a result that left them just two points above the drop
zone in Division Three.
The club went on to be embroiled in a battle to stay in the Football League, and a decade on they are now just three days away from a first
major cup final.
Players such as Garry Monk, Leon Britton and Alan Tate have been with the club through the hard times to the present day, and Laudrup issued
his own rallying cry to his players ahead of Sunday’s clash.
“Obviously I haven’t been here during those times, but it must be very special for them,” he said.
“For the new players here it is also a special a game, because it is that first final – that is always a great occasion.
“Some of them have played some huge games, but Sunday will be a special day for them and they can’t wait.
“I’ll tell them to enjoy it, because it may be the first and last time that they play in a final.”

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