Show "Russian spirit" against Stoke
9th November 2013
Swans boss Michael Laudrup has called on his players to show some more "Russian spirit" when they take on Stoke City at the Liberty Stadium in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday (4.10pm).
Laudrup was "very pleased" with the improved display against Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday night, despite the disappointment of conceding another late equaliser against the Russians.
"I think with the spirit we showed in Krasnodar, especially in the first half, we can get the result we want against Stoke,'' explained Laudrup. "It was a very good performance for an hour. If we can repeat it then I will be confident.
"This is our first league game since last Sunday's derby defeat and there are a lot of ingredients that make it one we really want to win, especially as we are at home.
"But just because we are at home doesn't mean we will win against Stoke. To think like that would be arrogant - and I am not arrogant.
"Stoke have been in the Premier League for many years, while this is just our third season. It will be another tough game. The league is tight this year and we have already seen a lot of surprises.''
The Swans will face a Stoke side now under a new management team of Welsh duo Mark Hughes and Neath-born assistant Mark Bowen. And Laudrup has seen their playing style change since the departure of Tony Pulis.
"Stoke play with more possession and are a little less direct under Mark Hughes,'' explained Laudrup. "But they are still a huge team and very strong physically.
"They have a good mix of styles so we will have to be solid, work hard and play well. They still have some huge players in their squad, so we will have to keep them away from our box as much as we can, especially from set-pieces.
"We did that very well when we beat them at home 3-1 last season. We have to try and repeat that on Sunday."
The Swans trained immediately after returning from Russia at 2pm yesterday and were back in again this morning.
"It's been a busy time. But after Sunday's game we have an international break, so the players need to give everything Stoke," added Laudrup.
Tickets are still available for Sunday's game against Stoke City. For further details, please contact the Ticket Office on 0844 815 6665.