Laudrup: "We must take chances"

31st December

Michael Laudrup insists his side must take their chances if they are to beat title contenders Manchester City on New Year's Day.

In the early kick-off on Wednesday (12.45pm), the Swans play hosts to second-placed Manchester City, hoping to start 2014 on a positive note.

But it won't be an easy task for Laudrup's side as Wednesday's visitors have taken 22 points from the last 24 available in the Barclay's Premier League.

Manuel Pellegrini's team are the in-form side in the Premier League, and despite their early-season erratic form, away from home, the Swans boss is well aware of the difficult task his side face.

"It's a tough test," said the Great Dane. "In their last eight games, they have won seven and drawn at Southampton.

"We played them a month ago and played very well in the first-half. We didn't take our chances, and in the end they beat us 3-0 because they have so much quality. For some - even some of the bigger teams - it has been even worse.

"They play good football. In the transition phase, when you have the ball and they get it, in three seconds, they can be up the other end.

"We saw that in the first game - suddenly they break on the counter, and in three seconds, it's four against four or three against three in your half.

"With players that fast, like Navas, like Aguero - I know hes not playing tomorrow - and Nasri, you have to be very careful.

"But then, if you defend too deep, they have a lot of creative players as well.

"They have a lot of depth in their squad, so even if someone is not there, like Aguero, they can bring in Dzeko, who can score.

"That's the thing that clubs like that have because they are playing for the big titles - they have to compete in Europe as well as here.

"But it's football, and what makes this sport so unique is that, even when you look at their squad and see a player who has the same value as the whole of your team, you still have a chance.

"If we can play like we did last time, as well as take our chances, I really think we have a chance.

"But we have to take our chances when we get them, because you will not get seven clear goal chances against a team like City."

Coming to the end of 2013, the Swans currently sit in 11th position in the Premier League table, knowing that a win tomorrow afternoon could see them leapfrog Hull into 10th position.

Overall, it has been a solid first half of the season for the Swans, but Laudrup is hoping for further improvement in 2014.

He added: "I think we can do a little better. We are a couple of points short from what I expected, halfway through the competition.

"I think we can get a little more in the second half than we did last year, and then we will end up, hopefully, achieving what we want to achieve.

"If we can consolidate ourselves as a mid-table team in our third season, that's great. If you can do that in three consecutive seasons, that's really great."