Battle to the end, says Laudrup

28th November 2013

Michael Laudrup says his side must battle to the very end in the Europa League after his side were beaten 1-0 by Valencia at the Liberty Stadium.

The result means that Swansea will have to wait until the final round of group games to confirm their qualification to the knockout phase of the European competition, while the victory for the Spaniards means they guarantee their place as group winners.

Daniel Parejo's single goal was enough to give Miroslav Djukic's side victory, but it could have been a different story had Alvaro Vazquez's first-half strike not been controversially chalked off on the brink of half-time.

"I think that it was one half each," said Laudrup. "Valencia were the better team in the first half. They dominated the midfield. Not that they created many chances, but they did dominate the first-half.

"We had a disallowed goal, which I think we all saw that, unfortunately for us, was given offside when he was at least a yard on.

"I saw that the linesman, when Jonjo touches the ball, keeps his flag down. When Vazquez touches the ball, he puts his flag up, but he is at least a yard onside.

"In the second half, we made a change to add an extra midfielder, which helped a lot.

"I think we took over in the second half. We had three or four chances - one saved on the line and a couple of others went very close.

"Now, we just have to get that last point in Switzerland.

"They are out of the competition, but they will want to win. We need maybe a point to go through - it depends what Kuban do against Valencia."

After taking maximum points in their first two Group A fixtures, Swansea have picked up just two points from their last three games.

But, despite the sensational start to their group campaign, Laudrup says he knew the Europa League would be a tough test for his side, right until the very end.

"I know that, in a European competition, you have to play until the last game. I knew from the beginning that it would be very difficult.

"Today we saw Kuban - a team that everyone thought was the weakest - win 4-0 at home. It's not easy; you have to play until the last game."

The Swans were dealt a further two setbacks tonight when Wilfried Bony and Angel limped off the pitch with injuries, and Laudrup says that they will have to wait to see how long both players will be out for.

"Both are muscle injuries," the Swans boss added. "Hopefully Angel went off in time, so hopefully he's not so bad, but Bony could be quite a serious one.

"We will have to wait two or three days for the scan. Unfortunately, I think we are talking several weeks.

"But today we saw Alvaro have a goal disallowed and one cleared off the line. With Bony's injury, now he has his chance."

Meanwhile, Valencia boss Djukic says he was delighted with his side's win against a "fantastic" Swansea team.

"We are very happy," said the Serbian manager. "We needed a win to get our confidence back. We were playing against a fantastic team.

"In the second-half, they came at us and we had to defend well.

"I think Swansea are a great team, and I think they will qualify. From the start, I thought both Valencia and Swansea would qualify."