Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Laudrup fears tough second season

Michael Laudrup's first season as Swansea manager was a successful one

Michael Laudrup believes it will be very difficult for Swansea to repeat their success of this season.

The Dane has enjoyed a dream first season in charge at the Liberty Stadium, guiding the club to Capital One Cup success and to a top-10 finish in the Premier League. Laudrup is already looking to strengthen his squad with a Europa League campaign on the horizon next term, but he believes managing expectations will be very important.

"It's impossible to always move forward but sometimes even maintaining the status quo is enough," he said in an interview with Yahoo!. "At this club we cannot pretend to think that we are going to win another major trophy next year, or even the year after that because that will be very difficult."

Laudrup added: "However, if we're talking about the Premier League, I think we will have to improve just to stay where we are now.

"It's a little early to set exact targets because we still have to get new players in but with our idea of the players we want, I think our target should be to try to at least stay mid-table and consolidate ourselves as a Premier league side. It will be very, very tough to stay in mid-table because some of the other clubs below us want to invest to improve."

Securing the club's first major honour against Bradford at Wembley ranks as a clear highlight in Swansea's season, but Laudrup believes there have been plenty of other performances to savour.

"Of course winning the final was the major moment, but in a season there are always ups and downs, always moments you remember particularly well," said Laudrup.

"I think winning several difficult away games is a particular highlight, this season we won at Anfield, Stamford Bridge and The Emirates so there has been some very important wins in stadia where you normally don't expect to come away with anything."

As well as Premier League big guns like Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, Swansea will also welcome Welsh rivals Cardiff to the Liberty Stadium next season after the Bluebirds won the npower Championship title to earn a place in the Premier League.

Laudrup, who experienced the Rome and El Clasico derbies during his playing career, is looking forward to locking horns with Malky Mackay's side. He said: I've heard a lot about the Cardiff and Swansea games. I played in several derbies and other huge games in my playing career so I'm looking forward to experiencing a new one."

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