Laudrup praises Martinez ahead of clash

20th December 2013

Michael Laudrup paid tribute to Roberto Martinez ahead of Sunday's Barlcays Premier League clash with Everton on Sunday (4pm).

The former Swans boss, who spent two spells at the club as both player and manager, returns to the Liberty Stadium with his Everton side riding high in the table.

The Toffees currently lie fifth, just outside the Champions League places, and have won a string of plaudits for their style of football under the Spaniard this season.

Martinez is widely credited for starting the revolution at Swansea City after taking over as manager in 2007, winning the League One title in 2008 before stabilising the club in the second tier.

After leading Wigan to FA Cup glory last season, he took over at Goodison Park following David Moyes' move to Manchester United.

And Laudrup was full of praise for his counterpart ahead of Sunday's meeting at the Liberty Stadium.

"He has done a great job," said the Swans boss. "It is difficult to come into a club who have had the same manager for 11 years.

"In the last ten years they are also around the top half of the league, and that was with a smaller budget that a lot of teams. So to come in and want to change the way of playing is even more difficult.

"I have watched their last four or five games and they were outstanding against Arsenal at the Emirates. They have kept a lot of their best players and made a huge signing in (Romelu) Lukaku on the final day of the transfer window."

The Swans reached the 20-point mark in the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at Norwich last Sunday - a result that was marred by an injury to Nathan Dyer.

The winger will be ruled out after suffering ankle ligament damage, while goalkeeper Michel Vorm is also out after undergoing knee surgery.

Swansea have been linked with a move for Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given, while Iago Aspas has also been touted as a possible loan signing in January.

"Michel's operation went well and we are talking about three to four weeks out for him," said Laudrup. "But I don't think we need to sign a goalkeeper for three weeks, and we also have David Cornell out on loan.

"Michu is still struggling with his ankle, and obviously Nathan is out, so I think we will have to wait and see the fixtures in terms of if we need to do something with an offensive player (in January).

"But I also don't want too big a squad. A small squad means everyone feels part of it and integrated."

Meanwhile, Laudrup commented on speculation linking him with the vacant managerial position at Tottenham following the recent sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.

"It's always flattering when others are talking about you," he said. "Tottenham are a big club, but the only thing I will say is I would never leave a club in the middle of the season.

"I've never done that as a player and a manger and it wont happen in the future either."