Today's media round-up

27th September 2013

With the Swans back in Barclays Premier League action on Saturday, the focus is on the home clash with Arsenal at the Liberty.
Garry Monk, Michel Vorm and Michael Laudrup have all given their thoughts ahead of the game as the Swans look to bounce back from Wednesday night's Capital One Cup defeat at Birmingham City.

South Wales Evening Post
Monk: Swans must strike while they can against Arsenal

Garry Monk reckons Swansea City can expect more misery against Arsenal tomorrow if they fail to thrive in front of goal.

Monk skippered Swansea as they were knocked out of the Capital One Cup at Birmingham City in midweek.

Michael Laudrup's men had enough chances to make progress - but lax finishing cost them dear as the Blues took charge in the second half.

"If we had taken a couple of the chances in the first half we would have gone on to win the game," Swansea's club captain said.

"But when you miss chances you get punished. All credit to them, by the end they deserved it and that's the bottom line.

"But for us it's three games in a row now where we haven't take enough of our chances, so yes it is a concern. The manager has mentioned it and the players know it themselves, so we need a little more composure and concentration in those situations.

"In a lot of the games we could have been out of sight in the first 20 minutes. That has not happened, but hopefully we can rectify that very soon."

Wales Online
Laudrup: 'It's focus my players need to be worried about - not tiredness'

Michael Laudrup will call for focus from his Swansea City side tomorrow after admitting it's that - not tiredness - which can affect teams trying to fight on different fronts.

The Swans' attempts to add a Capital One Cup run to their Premier League and Europa League commitments fell at the first hurdle when the holders' defence ended after just 90 minutes in Birmingham.

It opened Swansea up to obvious critiques of being weary in the 3-1 defeat - when a second-half capitulation came after a flurry of missed chances in the first 45 minutes - having gone from Valencia in Europe to Crystal Palace in the Premier League before League Cup action at St Andrew's in the space of six days.

But Laudrup, who made ten changes for the game against the Blues but still fielded six internationals and five of the team that started in the win at the Mestalla, insisted it was more of an issue of switching focus from different competitions.

And he will remind his side the importance of getting minds back on the job of picking up Premier League points when they welcome table-topping Arsenal to the Liberty Stadium for tomorrow's early-evening  clash.

"Europe can be a hindrance," Laudrup admitted, Swansea already facing their 12th game of the season tomorrow. "You see it not just in this country but all over Europe, especially with teams who are not used to playing European football like us.

"But it is not so much tiredness physically, but because of all the games players can lose a bit of focus. It's not even the number of games but the fact that you can have three matches in three different competitions in six days, like we have just had.

"Leave out being tired, but it can be difficult to focus sometimes. I've always said that it's nice for a smaller club like us to do well in the cup competitions - they are a fantastic experience - but you can never forget about the Premier League. That's why I have been so pleased with seven points from our last three games."

Wales Online
Vorm urges team to join Premier League big boys like Arsenal

Swansea City have already shown they are a side capable of beating the Premier League's top teams. Now they have been urged to show they are capable of joining them.

And they would do worse than taking the lead from the table-topping side they are set to welcome at the Liberty Stadium tomorrow.

As Michel Vorm puts it, the neutral audience will always be entertained when it comes to fixtures between Swansea and Arsenal given both are purveyors of a eye-pleasing passing style.

But always honest Vorm - like manager Michael Laudrup - knows that for all the talk of the beautiful game, it is a vicious streak that takes teams like Arsene Wenger's side to the very top level - and it is that ruthlessness Swansea still need to develop.

It was highlighted as a nitpicking negative in superb wins - for differing reasons - over Valencia and Crystal Palace; it was exposed as a potential problem in the League Cup defeat to Birmingham.

So, as Swansea look to carry on impressive league form against Arsenal, there is an awareness that to really show they can progress yet again in the Premier League they need to apply that crucial clinical edge to the chances they are creating.

"The table looked a lot better after we beat Palace and we are in an area where we deserve to be," said Vorm, Swansea's second win of the season propelling them into ninth with seven points. "I think a lot of teams respect us now and know we can dominate games like we did against Valencia and Palace.

"And when you think about us being a top eight side, the way we play not a lot of other teams around us can't match the possession game we have. But it is not only about possession but also creating and finishing the chances.

"Against Palace we created quite a lot but didn't finish enough - and that's the difference between a top, top team and us right now. We can create quite a lot but I think we can score more and it's something we have to work on.

"We need to look at it because if Palace had scored in the last five minutes we would have had a fight on our hands at the end. Okay, we won 2-0 but I was almost disappointed because if you have the opportunity to score three, four or five goals you have to do it."