Laudrup: Let's build on win

25th January

Michael Laudrup hopes his side's 1-2 victory over Birmingham City in the FA Cup will act as a springboard ahead of a crucial run of fixtures for the Swans.

Substitute Wilfried Bony inspired the Swans to a second-half comeback in the fourth round of the cup, scoring twice in three minutes after Lee Novak opened the scoring for the hosts before the break.

The Birmingham striker gave the hosts the lead in the 14th minute when he flicked home a header from Paul Caddis' cross.

But Laudrup changed things up at half-time, bringing on Bony for Pablo Hernandez, and the manager's decision turned out to be a great one.

The Ivory Coast international volleyed home Lamah's cross in the 64th minute before capping off a superb counter attack by the Swans with a calm finish three minutes later.

After a difficult first-half for his team, Laudrup was pleased with his side's "confident" response.

"A win is always good for confidence, especially in the situation we are in," said the Swans boss. "The reaction was pleasing as well.

"The first half was very difficult, we lacked a bit of confidence. We really wanted to win, but sometimes you play a bit too nervously.

"We spoke about it at half time that if you are that tense, it is difficult to play football. 

"We saw a much more relaxed team in the second-half, created a lot of chances and scored two goals. We started to play with confidence again.

"It's important for the players ahead of some crucial games against direct opponents, starting with Fulham on Tuesday.

"This result doesn't change what we have to do on Tuesday, but it gives us something because it is a win. A win always gives confidence." 

Laudrup was also keen to praise Wilfried Bony for his second-half brace, saying he had no choice but to introduce him to the action from the first minute of the second-half.

He added: "With the way that they played, we had to start Bony from the second-half - and it paid off.

"He has had to adapt to a different culture on and off the pitch. It is always difficult when you are a foreigner. 

"But now that he has adapted, he is playing with a lot more confidence. 

"The first goal was a great goal, and the second, he wouldn't have scored if he didn't have confidence. 

"I am happy for him and for the team. Hopefully we can build on this result today."

Meanwhile, Birmingham boss Lee Clark also had positive words to say about Bony but was disappointed his side couldn't prevent the striker from scoring his second.

"He's in very, very good form at the highest level of the game," said Clark. "We knew we had that to contend with if we went in front.

"I'm a bit disappointed because, when we had the ball, we were very good, but we killed ourselves with the second goal. 

"It's something we spoke about and it could have been prevented.

"We did extremely well with the ball, but when you play against a Premier League side and switch off, they will hurt you."