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Laudrup: We can't get complacent

PUBLISHED

13:05 28th February 2013

. . . Swans boss calls on focus ahead of Saturday's game with Newcastle


Michael Laudrup insists his players can’t afford to relax as they return to Premier League action against Newcastle on Saturday.

The Swans host Alan Pardew’s side at the Liberty this weekend on the back of winning the Capital One Cup at Wembley last Sunday.

There is sure to be a carnival atmosphere around the ground as the Jack Army welcome home their heroes after rewriting the history books by lifting the club’s first major trophy.

That win ensured the Swans will compete in next season’s Europa League, but Laudrup has called on his players to remain competitive as they seek to push on towards a fresh target.

“The fact we are in Europe has nothing to do with the league,” he said. “We have been competitive the whole season, so we can’t stop now.

“We still have 11 games to go and each one will have its own story. We have to play the top five and teams who are struggling at the bottom.

“But we can’t stop being competitive - if we do that then we could lose every game. I still think we can reach 50 points and I think we can improve on last season’s position.”

Following the euphoria of that win at Wembley, Michael Laudrup’s side return to league action this Saturday as Newcastle arrive at the Liberty.

The North East side have had a difficult season and sit just six points clear of the relegation zone following Sunday’s 4-2 win over Southampton.

That result elevated Pardew’s men up to 13th in the table following an upturn in fortunes, and Laudrup recalled the 2-1 win against Newcastle back in November as a pivotal moment in Swansea’s season.

“It was a huge win for us,” he said. “They had lost the week before and I said it was an important game for us, because they really wanted to win.

“That was the beginning for us, but for Newcastle as well because they went on a bad run. But they have had some very good results recently, including a win against Chelsea, and they signed five players in January.

“There might be a reaction following Sunday’s game, but I hope the players can go out and put on a performance in front of our fans.”

The Swans have attracted all the headlines this week following Sunday’s 5-0 win over Bradford at Wembley.

Not only did they win the club’s first major trophy, but also it was achieved in some style as the free-flowing football was portrayed on the world stage once more.

Laudrup’s side also drew plaudits for the manner in which they congratulated Bradford, forming a guard of honour as Phil Parkinson’s side returned from receiving their runners-up medals.

And the Swans boss was full of praise for his players for the way in which they minimised Bradford to just a single shot on goal throughout the entire 90 minutes.

“It was a great victory,” said Laudrup. “Not just because we won, but the way we did it as well.

“We all saw what Bradford had done on the way to the final, but they had just one shot in the game and only a couple of corners.

“To not concede a tiny chance shows it was a huge performance by us. Everyone expected us to win, but the way we did it was outstanding.”

Meanwhile, Laudrup confirmed that Chico Flores is still sidelined with an ankle ligament injury.

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