Laudrup disappointed in defeat

1st February 2014

Michael Laudrup felt his side failed to deal with West Ham's physicality after the Swans were beaten 2-0 at Upton Park.

A first-half brace from Kevin Nolan earned the home side victory in the Barclays Premier League, despite the second-half sending off of Andy Carroll.

Nolan put the Hammers in front just before the half-hour mark, hitting home from 12-yards after Carroll nodded down for the West Ham number '4'.

Then in stoppage time of the first period, the home side's front duo were at it again when Carroll headed Downing's deep in-swinging corner back across goal for Nolan to flick a header into the bottom corner.

Despite West Ham being reduced to ten men in the second-half, after Carroll was dismissed for catching Chico with a flailing arm, the home side were able to hold on to their two-goal advantage.

After the game, Laudrup was disappointed that his side weren't able to deal with their opponents' direct tactics.

"We really struggled with them physically, especially with Andy Carroll," explained the Swans boss. 

"We knew their game would be very direct from West Ham's point of view, exactly the same as a year ago.

"We struggled in the first-half, but it's still disappointing that the first goal came from exactly the type of situation we have been analysing.

"We knew there would be a lot of crosses into the box, and for the first goal, there was a long cross and Andy Carroll headed backwards for Nolan.

"The second goal is also disappointing because of the moment when it came. 

"Already this season, we have conceded goals in injury time, both in the first and second halves.

"At 2-0 down, I knew it would be difficult because West Ham would close down with nine or ten men inside, or on the edge, of the box.

"When Carroll got sent off, we had a lot of possession but no big, big chances. We have to admit that."

This afternoon's result means the Swans drop one position in the table down to 11th place, just two points above the relegation zone.

But despite the disappointing defeat, Laudrup isn't allowing himself to get too down.

He added: "For me, it was the same before and the same after the game. I don't let myself get too up or down. 

"I've had the opinion for quite some games now that there will be a lot of teams in there.

"We will see what will happen during the next four or five games, and see if someone has broken away from the group of 11 teams. 

"There will be changes from matchday to matchday because there will be some direct opponents playing each other. We have Cardiff and Crystal Palace coming up. 

"We cannot go too up or down because of one result, in one way or the other."

Meanwhile, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was delighted with the potency of his attacking pair, Carroll and Nolan.

"Andy Carroll is our target man," said Allardyce. "When he gets the right service, it puts the opposition defence under pressure because their back four have to retreat back to goal. 

"He's made two for Kevin today, and his next challenge is to get a few goals for himself.

"I also thought Kevin Nolan's contribution all over the pitch was great.

"We had quality finishing today, which is something we have been striving for. 

"It's a great result for us, and one that will take a little bit of pressure off us."