Laudrup: Defeat no season barometer
Michael Laudrup will not dwell on Swansea's 4-1 defeat to Manchester United because the result will have a minimal effect on where his side finish the season.
Swansea had been tipped to give David Moyes and United an uncomfortable start to life after Sir Alex Ferguson at the Liberty Stadium.
But two goals for the brilliant Robin van Persie and a brace for Danny Welbeck gave the visitors an emphatic 4-1 victory in south Wales.
The only consolation for the Swans was Wilfried Bony finding the net on his Premier League debut but, after an encouraging pre-season which had included a comfortable Europa League win over Malmo, this was something of a rude awakening.
The Welsh club must now prepare for the first leg of their Europa League play-off round tie against Romania's Petrolul Ploiesti, and Sunday's testing league trip to face Tottenham.
But Laudrup will remain typically calm, and was quick to point out that it is results against the other 12 teams in what he considers to be the second tier of the top-flight, that will ultimately dictate the success of Swansea's season.
"The big players play for the big teams. That is why there is such a big difference sometimes," he said.
"They just need a couple of chances and they score. The two goals from Van Persie were world class.
"It happened to us last season against Tottenham here. We were in the game, we dominated and suddenly two interventions from Gareth Bale and you are 2-0 down. You try to come back but it is difficult. They have so many quality players.
"After a great pre-season, not conceding any goals, and we have conceded four in one game, even if it is against Manchester United. It is not what you want.
"But Manchester United and us are playing for two different things. It is not against teams like that we have to see where we are.
"On Thursday we have to prepare for a completely different competition. It is the first leg of two against the Romanian side in the Europa League and in that game it is very important for us not to concede goals."
Victory in Swansea was an ideal start for Moyes as he faces the unenviable task of replacing the most successful British manager in history.
But, despite the change of manager, Laudrup believes they remain the team to beat thanks to the winning mentality nurtured at Old Trafford over the previous quarter of a century.
"It is unique because Ferguson has been there so many years," said the Dane.
"It is something they have built up, it is personalised in him because he was the manager for all those years.
"They have built something up that is so difficult - a winning mentality.
"There were three teams who could win the title last year. Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
"Do I think Manchester United had a much better team than the other two? No.
"But they had the winning mentality. In certain games and periods, because of the manger and what is inside the players, they had that winning mentality that you cannot buy.
"It is something you build up. Some players have it and when you bring players in, the old players and the manager try to inject that into the players.
"It is so difficult to explain and build up. Manchester United have had it many years and will still have it for many years. it is like a strand of DNA at the club. Other clubs still have to build it."