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Laudrup targets win over Saints

PUBLISHED

12:48 18th April 2013

. . . Swans boss looks ahead to Saturday's clash against Southampton at the Liberty Stadium


Michael Laudrup believes a win against Southampton on Saturday will go a long way to achieving their aim of a top ten finish in the Premier League.

The Swans have been in the top half of the table for a number of months and despite a run of just one win in five games, Laudrup’s men remain in ninth position.

Southampton, by contrast, are enjoying themselves after returning to the Premier League this season.

After a difficult start, the Saints have been in good form of late, losing just once in six games and are now just three points behind the Swans.

But Laudrup highlighted Saturday’s game as a crucial one if they are to go on and cap a fine season with a place in the top half of the Premier League.

“We have six games to go and Saturday is a key game,” he said. “We have been in the top ten for a number of weeks now and we want to stay there.

“If we want to stay there then we need a win on Saturday, particularly with the games we have after that.

“Beating the big teams is a bonus, but I’d prefer to beat the teams that are our direct rivals. And I believe that if we win on Saturday then we will finish in the top ten.”

Southampton opted for a managerial change back in January as Nigel Adkins, the man who guided the club to back-to-back promotions from League One, was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino.

The former Argentina international has since won over the Saints fans, beating the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea to all but secure the club’s Premier League status for another year.

“He did great at Espanyol as both a player and a manager,” said Laudrup. “When you go to a new country and a new culture, it is always difficult. But he is doing well at Southampton.

“They have done well recently after getting some important results against the big teams.”

Meanwhile, defender Neil Taylor stepped up his recovery from injury this week by featuring for the Under-21’s against Millwall.

And Laudrup confirmed that the Wales international is not too far away from returning to the first team fold.

“He played 90 minutes on Monday and did well,” he said. “And it is great to see him back playing again after so long out.

“But I think we will see him before the end of the season, either in the team or in the squad. Whether that is this weekend, we’ll wait and see.”

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