Laudrup urges cup final mentality

27th January

Michael Laudrup insists his players need to adopt a "cup final" mentality as they begin a crucial run of fixtures in the Premier League.

The Swans have won just once in their last ten league games and host fellow strugglers Fulham to the Liberty on Tuesday (7.45pm).

The visitors sit just one point and one place above the drop zone and will be looking to avenge the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea back in November.

Laudrup's men now face five of the league's current bottom half in their next six league games, and the Swans boss reiterated the importance of the coming weeks.

"The next four games are crucial, starting against Fulham," he said. "We are coming up against direct opponents in the table and throw in the games against Liverpool and Crystal Palace and it is a very important period.

"But we have to go into each game as if they are a final. I hope our wins in the cup, against both Manchester United and Birmingham, can also give us something.

"One thing I've said to the players is that I'm impressed with their confidence on the ball - we have to play our way and do what we're best at.

"But that's why I hope the second half reaction at Birmingham could help us in these coming games."

The Swans were boosted on Monday by the arrival of Bolton striker David Ngog at the Liberty Stadium.

The former Liverpool striker penned a deal until the end of the season and will give Laudrup another option upfront as the side look to move up the table.

And the Swans boss outlined Ngog's abilities following his switch from the Reebok Stadium.

"Position wise, we have been a little low in numbers recently, particularly being in three competitions," he said. "And there is always the possibility of new injuries.

"It's also important to try and find characteristics that you don't already have. David is a different type forward, he has pace and is good in one on one situations.

"Also, it is important to find someone with experience of this league, and he has that both from his time at Liverpool and Bolton."

Meanwhile, Swansea held talks with Blackpool winger Tom Ince on Monday, but Laudrup stopped short on confirming whether the England Under-21 international would be moving to the Liberty Stadium.

"I have spoken to him," he said. "But I can't say anything more. He is in a situation where he can decide where he wants to go."