. . . Swans boss gives his thoughts ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against QPR
Michael Laudrup insisted that this weekend’s game against Queens Park Rangers is vitally important as his side look to get back to winning ways.
The Swans welcome the Premier League’s bottom side to the Liberty as they look to bounce back from last Saturday’s defeat against West Ham.
The 1-0 reverse at Upton Park ended the club’s seven-game unbeaten run, but Laudrup’s men have lost just two home games all season.
And they face a QPR side that are fighting to stay in the top flight, with Harry Redknapp’s side hitting the headlines for their January transfer deals in a bid to remain in the Barclays Premier League.
But Laudrup insisted that the league positions count for nothing when the two sides meet at the Liberty.
“It’s a very important game,” he said. “Not because they are bottom of the table, but because it is a home game and we want to win it.
“We are still six points away from the magic 40 that everyone talks about, so we have some work to do.
“But we have two games before we play the cup final and Saturday is one that I feel we have to win – it’s a huge game.”
The Swans currently sit in eighth place in the Barclays Premier League, with just two league games to play before the Capital One Cup showpiece at Wembley.
Last weekend’s clash against West Ham brought an end to what has been a hectic period for Laudrup’s side, with the Swans having played 16 games since early December.
But with no midweek games left on the calendar, the Dane is looking forward to the final three months of a historic campaign.
“It’s been an experience,” said Laudrup. “But a very, very positive one.
“Good results have made it a bit easier, but it has also been great to use the squad as well as we have done in a lot of the games.
“It is possible that there may be less changes between now and the end of the season, but you still have to take into consideration factors such as performance and fitness.
“But for me personally, the last two months have been an important period in terms of the future and what we need and what we don’t need.”
The Swans were boosted this week by the news that three players have put pen to paper on contract extensions.
Club stalwarts Leon Britton and Garry Monk extended their stays at the Liberty, while goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel was rewarded for his fine displays with a new deal until the summer of 2015.
The trio follow hot on the heels of Michel Vorm, Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Neil Taylor, Wayne Routledge and Michu who have all committed their futures to the club so far this season.
“They are all important players,” said Laudrup. “I have mentioned it more than once that we have to be quick about contracts, because we can’t pay what some of the other teams can.
“But all of them have signed because they want to stay here and they enjoy playing for the club.”
“Being the second goalkeeper is always the most difficult position in the squad, but I’m very pleased for Gerhard because he has done great for us this year in the games he has played.
“And we now have two very good goalkeepers at the club, and that is a wonderful thing to be able to say.”
He added: “Garry has been at the club a long time, so to has Leon, and the contract shows the club’s feelings towards the player.”
Meanwhile, Laudrup hinted that goalkeeper Michel Vorm could return this weekend, while Leon Britton remains doubtful after suffering an ankle injury in last weekend’s game against West Ham.