Today's media round-up

25th April 2013

Today's media round-up involves Leon Britton, Neil Taylor and Michael Laudrup.
Britton looks ahead to Sunday's trip to European champions Chelsea while the Swans boss reiterates his stance on where he wants his side to finish.
Taylor, back in the matchday squad for the first time last weekend since his injury, looks ahead to what he feels will be the club's toughest season in the top flight.

Wales Online
Britton hoping Chelsea threat will scare Swans back into form

Leon Britton has insisted the Chelsea fear factor should be enough to scare Swansea City back into form at Stamford Bridge.

And the midfielder remains confident that Michael Laudrup's men can pick up the wins needed to hang on to the top-10 place they've enjoyed for the majority of the season - even if it will take something special to start that on Sunday.

Swansea head to West London this weekend with that top-half place under threat thanks to a run of five games without a win.

Indeed, having been in the upper reaches of the Premier League since Christmas - and for all bar seven weeks of the season - they could find themselves out of it come kick-off time should both West Ham and Fulham conjure up unlikely wins on their travels.

It would be hardly disastrous should they do so given this season was again about safety first, second and third.

Nevertheless, following the highs of League Cup success and the strength of their league form prior to the last month or so, it would take some of the sheen off the eye-catching year if Laudrup's men should slide a little.

With Chelsea representing the first of a trio of daunting tests that remain - Manchester City and United the other two - there has to be doubt that things can improve just yet.

But, while Swansea can point to their Capital One Cup semi-final win over Rafa Benitez's Blues as an example of what can be achieved, the thought of what could happen if there isn't a pick-up in performance is a just as meaningful motivation.

Because Britton knows that with Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Demba Ba - to name just a few - for Chelsea to call upon, there will be no hiding place if Swansea aren't back to their best.

"We've obviously got some tough games, but we've shown we can play well and don't have to fear these teams," said Britton.

"But you've got to be at it going to those teams.

"When you go to the Chelseas of this division you've got to be on the money because if you're not you cannot just lose the game, but lose it four or five nil.

"We've found that out against Liverpool already this season where we lost 5-0.

"To be fair, since we've come up we've been good in that way and we've not suffered too many big defeats and we've made sure we've been competitive.

"But Liverpool was a reminder that if we're not at our best then the top players they have  can give you a bit of a beating."

South Wales Evening Post
Laudrup: 'If we end the season in 14th or 15th, I will be disappointed'

It was the second Saturday evening of the season, and Swansea City had just seen off West Ham to make it two wins from two under Michael Laudrup.

"Beat Sunderland next week and we will be a quarter of the way there," said one senior figure inside the club in the wake of the 3-0 win over the Hammers.

That was the sole goal for Swansea at the start of this season - to make sure they stayed in the top flight.

Only the most optimistic Swans fan would have suggested in August that Laudrup's team could outdo Brendan Rodgers's class of 2011-12.

The 11th-place finish delivered by Rodgers was regarded as an extraordinary achievement and, after a summer of unwanted upheaval in SA1, the idea of bettering that in this campaign was almost universally dismissed.

Yet here Swansea are in April, sitting ninth in the table and admitting that frustration will reign if they drop below the halfway mark between now and May 19.

"The top ten is my focus," Laudrup stressed again this week.

"I cannot see any other target for us. I think I have said it before but it is still the same - if we end the season in 14th or 15th place, I will be disappointed."

BBC Sport
Taylor braced for demanding season

Wales defender Neil Taylor believes next season will be the toughest yet for Europe-bound Swansea City.

Swansea embark on their third campaign in the Premier League next season.

And Michael Laudrup's side will also play in the Europa League, which Taylor says will put extra demands on the squad.

"The demands it's going to put on the team, whatever squad we have next season, everybody's going to play a part," Taylor said.
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"It's going to be a really long season.

"I think we're going to have a heavy pre-season because we have to get ready for Europe which comes early.

"I look at the figures and the amount of games Chelsea and Newcastle have played and it's unbelievable."