. . . as Swans prepare for home clash with West Brom
Michael Laudrup has his sights set on a milestone on Wednesday night – but insists his side face a tough test against high-flying West Brom.
The Swans welcome Steve Clarke’s side to the Liberty Stadium with the visitors in fine form and sitting third in the Premier League table.
However, Laudrup’s side are in good form themselves, having lost just once in their last eight games in all competitions.
Sunday’s draw with Liverpool moved the Swans on to 17 points – three more than they had at the same stage last season.
And Laudrup is now focussing on reaching the 20-point mark, which will be a significant step on the way to maintaining their top-flight status.
“We know we have to be strong at home,” he said. “It is where we will probably get the majority of our points and we have done well so far.
“We’ve recently played two big sides in Chelsea and Liverpool, but we would like three points against West Brom to keep the good run going.
“If we do then we will be on 20 points after 14 games, which will be fantastic.”
He added: “You always want to continue when things are going well,” he said. “At the same time we want to try and improve all the time and get better.
“It isn’t possible to win every game, even though we try to, so we must focus on improving our performances and points tally, which is the most important.”
During the run of just one defeat in eight, the Swans have claimed wins over Liverpool and Newcastle, as well as a hard-fought draw with Chelsea at the Liberty.
There have also been four draws in that sequence, and Laudrup believes that the focus will be on trying to improve the point’s tally in the coming weeks.
“You could say that we have only lost one game, or that we have only won twice,” he said. “But you always want to get more points.
“You will always get a sequence of games where you lose, as we saw earlier in the season where we lost three in a row.
“But we want to continue with what we are doing at the moment and get closer to where we want to be.”
Wednesday’s opponents West Brom have enjoyed a fine start to the season, winning 26 points from their 13 games so far.
Clarke took over the managerial reigns in the summer and has so far had a tremendous impact at the Hawthorns.
Albion have won six games at home so far, including the recent win over Chelsea, while only losing twice on their travels.
Their 4-2 win over Sunderland on Saturday pushed the Baggies into third place, and Laudrup acknowledged that while they are a tough side to play against, his main focus is on winning all three points.
“Confidence is so important,” he said. “Talent, motivation and concentration are also key elements, but if you are winning games and getting good results then you believe you can beat anyone.
“They (West Brom) beat Chelsea recently and narrowly lost to Manchester City in the last minute, so we know we are in for a tough game on Wednesday.
“But we are at home, where we have lost just once all season, and we want to try and get the three points.”
Meanwhile, Laudrup confirmed that striker Danny Graham will not be available for Wednesday’s game after failing to recover from the virus that ruled him out of Sunday’s clash with Liverpool.
There are some tickets available for this game. Contact the Ticket Office on 0844 8156665 for further information.
Meanwhile, the Swans will know their opponents for the FA Cup third round when the draw is made this weekend.
Michael Laudrup’s side will be number 38 in the live draw, which takes place on ITV1 at approximately 2.40pm on Sunday, December 2.