Today's media round up
12th February 2013
Swansea City are sitting pretty in the Premier League after 26 games and the press have got hold of their stories whilst the players are in Dubai. The South Wales Evening Post spoke with Michael Laudrup on the Swans' warm weather training camp. Ashley Williams sat down with the Daily Mail to give a review of his season so far. Finally, Michu eased fears when he spoke to Sky Sports after being taken off with ten minutes to go in the 4-1 win over QPR.
South Wales Evening Post:
Michael Laudrup hopes sunshine break will make this Swansea City's brightest year
Michael Laudrup hopes his players will return from Dubai refreshed and ready to turn this season into Swansea City's finest ever.
Laudrup has taken his squad to the Middle East for a warm-weather training camp.
And he believes a short spell in the sun will help Ashley Williams and Co focus their minds on the golden opportunity that lies in front of them.
With 37 Premier League points on the board already and 12 games of the campaign still ahead, Swansea are within touching distance of what would arguably be the best league finish in their 101-year lifetime.
On top of that, of course, Laudrup's men are one game away from lifting a major trophy for the first time in their history.
If Swansea see off Bradford City in the Capital One Cup final and finish up in the top half of the top flight, 2012-13 would surely go down as the most successful campaign the club have ever had.
Laudrup has fingers crossed that this week's change of scenery will boost Swansea at the business end of the season.
"It's a chance for the players to relax a little in the sun," said the Swansea manager.
"We are training as well, because circumstances have changed since we decided to do the trip this week and now we have to prepare for a very difficult game instead of having a weekend off.
"I thought we would have two clear weeks before the Capital One Cup final, but then Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup and we rearranged our league game with them for next weekend.
"We could have cancelled the trip after that, but I felt the players needed to go and see some different surroundings.
"Just being able to put their shorts on and train in 22 degrees rather than one or two degrees will make a difference for them.
"Physically a change like that does not give you that much, but mentally even four days away from home can give you something."
ASHLEY WILLIAMS: The ball-boy row, my spat with Suarez and 'almost killing' Van Persie - you learn to live with it... playing for £80 and working as a waiter - that was hard
By THE FOOTBALLERS' COLUMN
Ashley Williams will lead Swansea out at Wembley later this month in the Capital One Cup final. He is also skipper of Wales, having won 39 caps. Williams, 28, has come a long way since starting out with Hednesford Town after being released by West Brom as a youngster. He had five years at Stockport before moving to the Liberty Stadium, initially on loan, in 2008 - the same year he made his international debut. This is Ashley Williams - Swansea and Wales...
"It's hard to explain how much I'm enjoying my football at Swansea. The club has been on an upward curve for a while and it's just so exciting to be part of that.
"We've had our difficulties, like losing Brendan Rodgers and big players like Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair in the summer, but a new manager and players have come in and done so well. It's crazy to think that we will be playing in a major cup final shortly.
"We obviously did well last season, but there was so much change that I don't think we really thought it would go this well. A few of the lads were laughing about it the other day, that here we are in a final and in the top half of the Premier League."
Swansea star Michu says there are no problems with his fitness
Swansea ace Michu has allayed fears over his fitness after being forced off during Saturday's win over Queens Park Rangers.
Michu, who scored twice in the 4-1 victory on Saturday, had to come off 10 minutes from time after struggling with an ankle injury during the week.
The Spaniard missed two days of training last week with the ankle problem, but he insists the decision to come off against QPR was just a precaution and he will be fit for next weekend's trip to Liverpool and the Capital One Cup final against Bradford later this month.
"I am feeling good right now," said Michu. "I had problems Monday, Tuesday and did not train - but I trained the rest of the week and was OK to play.
"I felt fine in the game but then with 10 minutes left I had a bang on my ankle. The game was finished so I asked to come off. There's no problem it was just a precaution.
"It will not be a problem especially with Dubai to look forward to with good weather and a lot of sun; it will be good to relax, to train and to think about Liverpool and Wembley."