Laudrup bidding for third group win

6th November 2013

Michael Laudrup says that victory over Kuban Krasnodar would all but secure Swansea's progress to the knockout stage of the Europa League.

The Swans arrived in Russia on Wednesday afternoon ahead of Thursday's Group A clash at Kuban Stadium.

Laudrup's men currently sit top of Group A with seven points from their first three games.

It could well have been nine points from nine a fortnight ago, but Kuban scored a stoppage-time equaliser at the Liberty to dent Swansea's 100 per cent start.

But Laudrup believes that victory in the reverse fixture would pretty much see his side book their place in the last 32 of the competition.

"We will be almost there with a win," he said. "But it still depends on the other games.

"We have three matches left to play, we all know what happened in the first game against Kuban at home and we want to do better on Thursday."

The Swans come into Thursday's game on the back of a defeat in the South Wales derby.

Laudrup's men went down to a 1-0 defeat against Cardiff last Sunday to leave them with just one win in their last five outings in all competitions.

But the Swans boss refused to make excuses, instead insisting that his players need to focus on improving in certain areas.

"There are always games that are better to win than lose, and a derby game is exactly that," said Laudrup.

"But the Europa League is still a new competition for us this year and we can relate to the Cardiff game after tomorrow ready for when we face Stoke on Sunday.

"It's easy to say we haven't played well in the last thee or four games, but the season is a long one.

"Last year we played 47 games and we will easily play 50 this season.

"In the last few games we haven't been sharp enough offensively. We aren't giving away too much defensively, but we have to improve in the last third of the pitch.

"It's not about finding excuses but explanations."

Meanwhile, Laudrup confirmed that Michu could be ruled out for three weeks.

The Spaniard limped out of Sunday's defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium and was initially set to miss the next two games with a knee problem.