Laudrup hails "amazing" season
12th May 2013
Michael Laudrup paid tribute to an "amazing" season after the Swans were guaranteed a top-ten finish despite Sunday's defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
In what was Sir Alex Ferguson's final home game in charge, United took the lead shortly before half-time as Robin van Persie's free-kick fell kindly to Javier Hernandez and the Mexican slid the ball under Gerhard Tremmel.
However, the Swans came out of the blocks quickly after the restart and were level within five minutes as Michu volleyed home Nathan Dyer's cross.
Wayne Routledge had a good chance to score a second for the visitors, who dominated possession for long periods, but it was left to Rio Ferdinand to give Sir Alex the perfect send off as he lashed the ball home with three minutes left to play.
But despite the defeat, Laudrup's men are guaranteed a top-half finish in the Premier League, and the Swans boss hailed the efforts of his players.
"It has been an amazing season," he said. "It will be remembered for winning the cup, but to finish in the top half is great for our club.
"We have the smallest budget in the league and next season will be tough because there are teams below us now that will want to spend big and do better than they have done this season.
"We also have an outside chance of finishing eighth and if we do that then it will be like winning the championship. It has been a great season for us."
The Swans will now be looking to better last season's points tally when Fulham visit the Liberty next Sunday, and Laudrup already has one eye on next season.
"You always have to have a marker," he said. "Next season will be difficult once more because of the teams spending big.
"But I'm already looking forward to it, especially with the European adventure that we have.
"For us, we will be looking to consolidate in mid-table once more and if we can do that then it will be fantastic once again. That is what we need to be aiming for."
For United, Sunday's clash was the final home game in charge for Sir Alex Ferguson, as the boss prepares to retire in the summer.
And after they won the Premier League title back from Manchester City, Laudrup paid tribute to his opposite number.
"It was an honour for me to be here today," he said. "We have witnessed something special in football, not just in England but across the world.
"I can't remember Manchester United having another manager and it is a credit to him that he has managed to build teams not just for the present, but for the future as well."