Today's media round-up

18th January 2013

After a busy week of action, the Swans switch focus to Barclays Premier League action on Saturday as Stoke City visit the Liberty.
Arsenal star Jack Wilshere has backed the Swans to be Premier League regulars after witnessing their performance in the FA Cup defeat at the Emirates on Wednesday, while Stoke boss Tony Pulis has praised Michael Laudrup for ensuring the Swans have continued to improve since his arrival.
And Leon Britton talks about the challenge the Swans face in tackling a Stoke side renowned for their physical and aerial prowess.

The Stoke Sentinel
Laudrup lauded for avoiding Swans dive

Swansea City deserve credit for taking the Michael when they were looking around for a new boss last summer.

That's the view of Stoke manager Tony Pulis as he prepares to square up to Swans chief Michael Laudrup in south Wales tomorrow (3pm).

Pulis is full of admiration for how Laudrup has silenced his early critics by taking Swansea to the brink of a Wembley final in the Capital One Cup and a possible top-10 finish in the Premier League.

Pulis says Laudrup deserves credit for pushing Swansea to build on the earlier improvement in their fortunes under his managerial predecessors Kenny Jackett, Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers.

"Everybody thought Swansea had reached their peak under Brendan," he observed, "but he's taken it on again.

"When Brendan left, people thought this is all going to fall in, but for a fourth consecutive manager who's gone in there, they've kept it going and actually improved."

South Wales Evening Post
Size isn't everything - just ask Leon

Standing at little more than 5ft 5in, Leon Britton might have more reason than most to be perturbed by the imposing figures from Stoke descending on the Liberty tomorrow.

A Potters line-up featuring more than two players shorter than 6ft is a rarity, and their own fans have rhapsodised ironically about their apparent similarities to a rugby team.​

There are factors other than muscularity which have contributed to Stoke's success, but few battlegrounds will capture the physical disparity between the two sides as strikingly as central midfield tomorrow afternoon.

Swansea's hopes of winning tomorrow will rest heavily on how Britton and his team-mates fare in the struggle for midfield supremacy, with both sides expected to flood that area of the pitch with five men.

"Obviously they are a very strong team and it's always a tough game," he said.

"People talk about their physicality but they play within the rules. That's football - you can play direct or on the floor, it's up to you.

"There's no written rule to say you have to play one way. It's going to be a big test and we have to make sure we are up to it."

Wales Online
Wilshere backs Swans for long Premier League stay

Arsenal star Jack Wilshere believes Swansea City will become a permanent fixture in the Premier League.

Wilshere gunned down Swansea with a goal four minutes from time in their FA Cup re-match on Wednesday night but says he's been impressed with Michael Laudrup's side this season.

Swansea beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates in the Premier League in December before forcing an FA Cup third round replay with a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

"They're a great team and they'll be in the Premier League for years to come," predicted Arsenal and England midfielder Wilshere.

"We always know Swansea is going to be a tough game, they like to keep the ball and play it out from the back.

"They play good football and I think that's the way football is going.

"We knew it wouldn't be easy but I thought we applied ourselves excellently and got the result in the end."