Today's media round-up

22nd August 2013

Ahead of tonight's Europa League game at the Liberty stadium, Neil Taylor talks about how the Swans can recover from Saturday's defeat with a victory over Petrolul Ploiesti and Michael Laudrup says that the transfer deadline should be before the start of the Premier League season.

Wales Online

Taylor backs team for Europa League and Premier League wins

Neil Taylor has urged Swansea City to go for the double tonight as they look to aid Premier League and Europa League hopes in one swoop.

Manchester United dealt the Swans an opening day blow when they hit them for four at the Liberty on Saturday, denting the confidence that had built up in pre-season.

And with the defence reeling from Robin van Persie's masterclass, there can be no hangover when Michael Laudrup's men head to White Hart Lane to take on Tottenham this Sunday.

But with European action sandwiched in between and the chance to put one foot into the group stage against Petrolul Ploiesti tonight, Taylor says Swansea need to make the most of the chance to have two boosts for the price of one.

"You do lose confidence when you lose games and throw in the fact we pretty much didn't concede all pre-season and Saturday was a reality check," said the Wales left-back, set to replace Ben Davies tonight. "But that's football. What you then need to do is make the most of the opportunity to put it right when it comes around again.

"If we win in Europe, it puts us all back on a positive note.

"We want to make the group stages, but it can also help us to recover from Saturday.

"You can have a different game and get away from the Premier League.

"Sometimes you can fall out of a competition and have to wait a week to 10 days for your next match. That's horrible when you've lost.

"Hopefully this can be used as a platform. We can help ourselves in Europe and we can help ourselves in the Premier League and make sure we learn quick and move on because these games come thick and fast."

Unusually so for Swansea who, not so long ago, would have been trying to squeeze in the odd early League Cup tie or Football League Trophy fixture between league commitments and not historic European occasions.

But Taylor reckons Swansea are suited to the demands just fine, even if little is known about their Romanian cup-winning opponents.

"At this early stage it is a step into the unknown, but it might be the same for them, they might have to do a bit of research on us," said the 24-year-old.

"We'll do our preparations, but hopefully it will all be about us anyway.

"It is different from how you approach a league game. But in terms of playing, I think our style helps us to make the change from the fast pace of the Premier League to it maybe being a little bit slower in Europe.

"That may suit us better than other teams from this country who have played in Europe.

"Hopefully that will stand us in good stead in this competition, but Petrolul beat a good side to get here and we have to be on our game to progress.

"It's going to be tough, they'll be coming here knowing if they can get a goal it makes it a lot easier for them back home.

"We have to make sure we don't concede or at least win the game."

The Guardian

Laudrup joins call for transfer moratorium

Michael Laudrup has joined the growing list of Premier League managers calling for the transfer window to close before the start of the domestic season.

The Dane is preparing his Swansea City side to host Romania's Petrolul Ploiesti in the play-off round of the Europa League amid continuing speculation linking Michu and Ashley Williams with Arsenal. Laudrup has not received offers for either player but the rumours are unwelcome with the closure of the transfer window less than two weeks away.

Newcastle United's Alan Pardew and Chelsea's José Mourinho this week stated their wish for managers to be able to start the season with finalised squads, and Laudrup cannot understand why such a move would not have wholesale backing.

"It's part of the game and as long as the rules are like that we get on with it," he said. "I went to the Premier League managers' meeting last week and one of the questions asked was why we could not move the transfer deadline, what is the reason to have it close after we have started the season here and in Spain and Germany?" Laudrup said. "The answer was that in the other big leagues there was not a lot of interest in moving it. I cannot understand why not."

Laudrup, who last week told Arsenal even a "ridiculous" offer would not be enough to take Michu from the Liberty Stadium, added: "It would do huge damage if we lose players of the quality of Michu and Ashley because we have to find replacements at the same level and we cannot do that too late. If I sell someone and try to buy someone else the next day, the price of your replacement goes higher, it's inevitable. It's very close to this club's deadline as far as selling anybody goes."

The Swans are heavily fancied to book a place in the group stages of the Europa League but Celtic's 2-0 defeat by the Kazakhstan side Shakhter Karagandy served as a warning about the improvement of teams from eastern Europe.

Petrolul Ploiesti are managed by the former Romania international Cosmin Contra, who played under Laudrup at Getafe, and the Dane is taking nothing for granted. "It's a new game and a different competition, we just have to leave the Premier League to one side for this game," he said. "We have to approach it as just the first half of the game," Laudrup said. "It means getting a good result which would be a win and, even better, a clean sheet.

"After conceding four goals against United it is even more important to get a clean sheet. Winning 1-0 would be a good result, with 2-0 I would be even happier.

"This will be a tough game. We have watched their games against Vitesse Arnhem and they have some good players so we have to be careful. They are not used to going into the group stages in Europe, but neither are Swansea so we are the same."