Laudrup delighted with 'special' praise

12th March 2013

Michael Laudrup described his recognition as the most impressive manager in the Barclays Premier League so far as "something special".

The Swans boss was named by his peers as the best in the top-flight during a survey conducted by the League Managers Association.

The Great Dane has enjoyed a hugely successful season at the Liberty, leading the Swans to a first major trophy after winning the Capital One Cup while the team are comfortably placed in the top half of the table.

Laudrup was not the only one Swan to come out on top as Spanish hotshot Michu was named best new recruit.

The Spaniard was the clear winner, with his 19 goals grabbing the headlines at SA1. He was well clear in the voting ahead of Robin van Persie (35 per cent), Santi Cazorla, Dimitar Berbatov and Steven Nzonzi (all six per cent).

In the best young player category, Wales international Ben Davies was among the candidates.

He won six per cent of the votes, with Liverpool's Raheem Sterling topping the lot with 52 per cent. Other candidates included Adam Lallana (18 per cent), Oscar (12 per cent), Steven Nzonzi and former Swan Steven Caulker, both with six per cent

It is yet more praise to come the way of the Swans, who have enjoyed the finest campaign in the club's 100-year history.

Laudrup expressed his delighted in receiving the accolade.

"It's always an honour to receive recognition, but I always consider them more important when they come from your colleagues," he said.

"I felt the same as a player and that hasn't changed now that I'm a manager.

"It's something special coming from your colleagues because they are the ones you are competing with on a weekly basis on and off the pitch.''

Former Liverpool, Aston Villa and France manager Gerard Houllier praised Laudrup for the impact he has made in the Premier League.

He said: "At the beginning of the season many wondered whether Swansea would be able to maintain their impressive start to Premier League life, but Michael Laudrup has come in, managed to sustain their league progress and recently won the League Cup.

"He has probably made the shrewdest signing of the season in Michu and deserves the praise from his peers.

"Overall the survey highlights that promoted clubs can establish themselves in the Barclays Premier League, gain the respect of the established managers, play quality football and excite fans.

"It's good for the future of the Premier League and football in this country."