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Laudrup looking for more of the same

PUBLISHED

12:32 26th April 2013

. . . Swans boss looks ahead to Sunday's clash against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge


Michael Laudrup is hoping his side can continue their good record against Chelsea this weekend when they travel to Stamford Bridge.

Sunday’s clash between the two sides is the fourth meeting this season, with the Swans remaining unbeaten so far.

The reverse league fixture ended in a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium back in November, while the Swans overcame Rafa Benitez’s side en route to winning the Capital One Cup.

And Laudrup is keeping his fingers crossed for more of the same at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

“We’ve done well against them this season,” he said. “We had an intense game against them in the league back and the two semi-finals were very special.

“It was a great win against them at Stamford Bridge, but there have been many great results away from home this season and we hope that there is a couple more left in us.

“But every game has its own story and we are coming up against a side that has played a lot of matches this season.”

Chelsea have a six-point cushion over fifth-placed Spurs in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League, while they have their eyes on another piece of silverware.

Rafa Benitez’s men secured a 2-1 win over FC Basel on Thursday night in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final – their eighth game during this calendar month.

But despite their hectic schedule, Laudrup hailed the Blues’ strength in depth ahead of Sunday’s clash at Stamford Bridge.

“They have a great squad,” he said. “They can change four or five players and you don’t really notice a big difference.

“All of their players are at a high level and even though they lost to Manchester City recently, they have done well in my opinion.”

The Swans, by contrast, have suffered a dip in form in recent weeks, winning just once since lifting the Capital One Cup.

However, two of those defeats came against Champions League-chasing Arsenal and Spurs, while they were unlucky not to take all three points against Norwich.

But despite securing their Premier League status for another season with something to spare, the Swans boss is refusing to get carried away and maintains the focus is on securing a place in the top ten.

“We’ve been working on next season for many months,” said Laudrup. “But we need to keep the focus on our last five games of this season. For me, finishing well is ending up in the top ten.

“We have some tough games coming up, plus a game against Wigan who are fighting, so it will difficult. But we have to find those points from somewhere.

“I still want us to finish well because it would be great for the club. But to do that, we need more points.”

With the campaign almost at a close, the transfer rumour mill is already in full swing with the Swans being linked with a move for Real Betis midfielder Jose Canas and Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

“A lot of names will come up,” said Laudrup. “But that is something we have to deal with.

“We have a lot of work to do in the summer but we need to respect the players that are here to finish the current campaign.

“We just have to accept that rumours and speculation are all part of the game.”