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Laudrup: First half display cost us


18:19 8th December 2012

. . . Swans boss points to opening 45 minutes effort as reason behind defeat

Michael Laudrup bemoaned his side's first-half performance as the Swans went down to a 4-3 defeat against Norwich at the Liberty.

The visitors roared into a three-goal lead at half time through goals from Steven Whittaker, Sebastien Bassong and Grant Holt.

The Swans clawed two goals back early on in the second half through Michu and Jonathan de Guzman, but Norwich looked set for all three points when Robert Snodgrass curled home a free-kick.

And despite Michu grabbing a third on stoppage time - his 13th of the season - it was in vain for the home side.

"We didn't play well in the first half," said Laudrup. "We found ourselves three goals down at the break, but the reaction was great in the second half.

"I think the players realise that you can't play at 90 per cent at this level. You have to be at your best all the time.

"We were too predictable in the first half but after the restart we were faster, played one and two touches and were moving ball around well.

"But overall, we didn't deserve to win after our performance in the first half."

The defeat was Swansea's first in seven games - conceding four goals at home for the first time since drawing 4-4 with Wolves back in April.

Last weekend's win at Arsenal rightly gave the Swans the plaudits they deserved, but Laudrup insisted that Saturday's defeat was an example of what can happen if you are not at the top of your game.

"We showed a lot of character in the second half," he said. "As we did in the home games against Sunderland and Reading.

"But it is a lesson for everyone that you have to be at 100 per cent.

"We had a lot of praise last weekend and if people are telling you that you are great, then you start to believe it.

"Sometimes you can drop a little and get punished."

Meanwhile, the win for Norwich moves them on to 22 points in the Premier League.

And Chris Hughton was delighted with his side after the Canaries extended their unbeaten run to ten matches.

"It was a game of two halves," he said. "It couldn't have gone any better for us at 3-0 but we didn't do ourselves any justice by conceding two goals early on in the second half.

"It's a good win against a Swansea side that are in good form and they showed what a good side they are in the second half.

"But the fourth goal was pivotal for us and the players showed great character in the second half and I'm delighted with the win."

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