. . . Swans boss ready to prove critics wrong
Michael Laudrup has called on his players to prove everyone wrong once more as the new Premier League season gets underway this weekend.
The Swans travel to Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, bidding to win their opening game for the first time since 2005.
It has been a busy summer for the club both on and off the field after seeing Laudrup replace Brendan Rodgers as manager, while seeing the likes of Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Steven Caulker depart from last year’s squad.
And following a summer of transition, many pundits have tipped Laudrup’s men to struggle as they prepare to embark on their second season in the top-flight.
But the Dane has challenged his players to respond and show the sort of form that won them a string of superlatives last term.
“I have read the so-called experts’ opinions ahead of the new season and most of them have tipped us to go down,” he said.
“We all know that the second season in the Premier League is difficult, but we’ll have to show them that they are wrong.
“We have good players here and a good squad and I think we can do well.”
Since his arrival, Laudrup has brought in the likes of Chico, Jonathan de Guzman, Michu and Etey Schechter - who is looking to finalise his loan move from Kaiserslautern - as he looks to establish a squad capable of sustaining their status amongst English football’s elite.
And following a successful pre-season tour of America and two good performances on home soil against Blackpool and Stuttgart, the former Real Madrid and Barcelona legend revealed that he cannot wait to get his teeth into the Premier League at Loftus Road.
“Pre-season is one thing, but starting the season is completely different,” said Laudrup. “We are now playing for points, and that’s what its all about.
“The league competition is very different and I’m looking forward to seeing full stadiums home and away.
“There are no easy games in the Premier League and QPR is no different. I have watched the away game from last season a couple of times and I think we are ready.”
The Swans suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Loftus Road last season, with many highlighting it as a low point of an otherwise terrific campaign.
And as the squad prepare to open their account in West London, Laudrup has vowed to continue the ‘Swansea Way’ and make the club a sustainable entity in the Premier League.
“There are different types of ambition,” he said. “One of our aims is to continue the style of football that has been created.
“We also need to show everyone that we are not just a club that is passing-by in the Premier League, but one that is here to stay.
“There are many clubs in the Championship that want our spot, but we want to be at this level for many years.”