Michael Laudrup insists the Swans must be stingy with set-pieces at Stoke City if they want to avoid a third consecutive Barclays Premier League loss.
The Swans head to the Britannia Stadium on the back of defeats at Aston Villa and at home to Everton, though they responded with victory at League One side Crawley in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
A testing trip to Stoke on Saturday is sure to ask more questions of Laudrup’s side, who have picked up seven points from five games.
With Stoke’s direct style the focus in the club’s weekly press conference, Laudrup was probed on how the Swans will deal with the physical and aerial threat of Tony Pulis’s side.
“They play very direct and they put you under a lot of pressure, especially at home,” said Laudrup.
“We can’t afford to defend too deep. They score a lot of goals from set-pieces, so we can’t give away a lot of free-kicks, corners or throw-ins.”
Saturday’s game will again see a mixture of styles going against each other. Last season, both sides won their home game 2-0.
Laudrup, who encourages an attacking strategy of quick, passing football, was questioned whether Stoke’s approach was the right way to play the game.
He responded: “There is no right or wrong style of play in football. We all have our opinions.
“If you look at Stoke, they have really grown as a club in the Barclays Premier League.
“Usually, of the three teams that go up you find one, maybe two, of those clubs go straight down. The other may go down the following season.
“But they have become an established Premier League team. If you get past the third year in the Premier League then you are an established team in the Premier League – that’s our aim.
“We know the league is a lot different from the cup competitions – the league is a long journey and there will be lots of ups and downs.
“But whatever happens, you have to rely on your ability and stay calm. If you win or lose three games in a row your attitude shouldn’t change. You must keep calm.
“I think everyone got a bit carried away because we had scored eight goals after two games and picked up six points.
“Sometimes when you get a loss like Everton it can bring your feet back onto the ground, and that’s not a bad lesson to learn.”
Meanwhile, with Michel Vorm signing a new four-year deal at the Liberty, Laudrup was delighted with the Dutch keeper’s decision to commit to the Swans.
He added: “It’s great news for the club. Michel is a very important player in this team - he can get us so many points throughout the season.
“I’m very happy that he will continue to be with us.”
The Swans hope to have Ashley Williams, Jonathan de Guzman and club record signing Pablo Hernandez available for the trip to Stoke.
The trio sat out Tuesday’s trip to Crawley, but are moving closer to overcoming recent injury problems.
Kyle Bartley and Kemy Agustien, however, remain sidelined.
“Pablo trained today along with Ashley and Jonathan,” Laudrup confirmed. “They looked fine. If they train tomorrow like they did today then they should be available for the matchday squad.”
You can watch the Swans boss' full press conference on Swans Player now.
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