Tough task ahead, says Laudrup
15th August 2013
Michael Laudrup insists his side are under no illusions of the task in hand ahead of this weekend's Barclays Premier League opener.
The Swans welcome reigning champions Manchester United to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday as they begin their third campaign in the top-flight (5.30pm).
Laudrup's side enjoyed a memorable season last year, finishing ninth in the Premier League and lifting their first major trophy in the form of the Capital One Cup.
And following a successful pre-season in which the Swans won seven out of seven, expectations have soared in SA1.
United, meanwhile, have undergone a summer of change with the arrival of new boss David Moyes, who has enjoyed great success against Swansea since their arrival in the Premier League two years ago.
"It's never the right time to face a team like Manchester United," said Laudrup. "But we know we have to play them and playing them first is not bad for us.
"Whatever they do, they will put out a strong team. But I'd prefer to play them now, instead of October and November maybe.
"If you have success against a certain team, then you will try and bring that along whenever you play that club.
"We played Everton twice last season and they did every well against us, particularly at the Liberty, but we still created a lot of chances in the home game."
As well as an excellent pre-season campaign, the Swans have thrived in the Europa League thus far.
After returning to European competition for the first time in 22 years, Laudrup's men eased past Malmo in the third qualifying round to book their place in the play-offs at the end of this month.
But much of the excitement around the Liberty has centered upon a clutch of new signings, including club-record buy Wilfried Bony.
"Everyone has talked a lot about the transfers," said Laudrup. "We need to see a few games and go past the transfer window first before I can talk about the season ahead.
"Everybody wants someone who can score goals. They are difficult to find and are often very expensive.
"Goals are the most important thing in football. Goals mean points, and points mean you can reach your targets.
"Overall, my target would be to consolidate Swansea as a mid-table team. If we could do that it would be absolutely fantastic."
Meanwhile, Laudrup confirmed that on-loan midfielder Jonathan de Guzman would miss Saturday's clash with Manchester United.
The Dutch international suffered a bout of concussion while away on international duty this week, but the Swans boss confirmed there are no fresh injury concerns ahead of the weekend.
***For any queries regarding Season Tickets, supporters must contact the Ticket Office on 0844 815 6665, or visit in person, in advance of Saturday's game.