Laudrup hoping to extend unbeaten run
1st February 2013
Michael Laudrup is hoping his side can continue their unbeaten run when they face West Ham on Saturday (3pm).
The Swans travel to Upton Park having gone seven games without defeat in the Barclays Premier League - a run that stretches back to the middle of December.
During that run Laudrup's men have also reached a major cup final for the first time in the club's history, and currently sit eighth in the table.
But they face a West Ham side who have won just once in their last 12 games in all competitions.
Their last league win came against Chelsea at Upton Park in early December and it is on home soil that Sam Allardyce's side have picked up a large chunk of their points since returning to the top flight back in the summer.
And Laudrup is hoping that his side can continue their recent run, but insists they will face a tough challenge against the Hammers.
"They are a team that have done well at home," he said. "They have players who can play such as Noble, Jarvis, Nolan and Joe Cole, but they also have lots of power up front.
"They have the likes of Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole, but also (Marouane) Chamakh coming in gives them something different.
"So we know it will be a test, but they haven't had a good run recently and it is a very important game for them.
"But we will look to try and extend our good run and whatever happens, we will put out yet another competitive team."
The Swans recorded a 3-0 win over West ham at the Liberty in the second game of the season, a result that temporarily moved Laudrup's side to the top of the Premier League table.
The visitors arrived in south Wales with a direct style of play and despite a couple of close calls from set pieces, the Swans went on to produce a dazzling attacking display to seal all three points.
And Laudrup expects another physical test for his players at Upton Park this Saturday.
"We have to be prepared for two kinds of offensive strategy," he said. "They can play direct with long balls from the back, but also keep it on the floor and play with good possession.
"But we still have lots of possibilities within the squad in terms of how we play and, above all, we have a group that has a lot of belief."
One of the goal scorers from that win back in August, Danny Graham, said farewell to the Swans on Thursday as he completed his deadline day move to Sunderland.
The striker, who has scored seven goals this season, wasn't a regular in Michael Laudrup's starting line-up and now returns to his native North East.
And after seeing Graham depart the Liberty Stadium, the Swans boss outlined his reasons for allowing the striker to leave, while not replacing him with the final few months of the season ahead.
"He had a desire to leave, not for the football side of things, but for personal reasons," said Laudrup. "I told Danny that I understood. The offer from Sunderland was good and we took the decision to let him go.
"But I looked at the fixtures, and we have 15 games in 15 weeks between now and the end up the season.
"Rewind 15 games and that's December 8 - I have confidence in this group we'll be okay.
"You can always press the panic button just to bring someone in, but I don't think that was the case here. I still think inside the team - even with injuries - we have possibilities to have quite competitive team.
"You can always say why didn't you buy anyone, but first of all the players I want are not possible to sign in January. Perhaps they could have been but only for ridiculous amount of money and the way we do things here is not paying £9m, £10m or even £11m for a player."
Meanwhile, Laudrup confirmed that goalkeeper Michel Vorm will miss Saturday's game after attracting some fluid in his knee.