Wayne anticipating "tough" encounter
8th March 2013
Wayne Routledge insists the Swans will face a tougher test against West Brom on Saturday compared to when the two sides met earlier in the season.
Michael Laudrup's side head to the Hawthorns full of confidence after winning the Capital One Cup and last weekend's win over Newcastle - a result that moved them level on points with ninth-placed Albion.
The Swans produced one of their best performances of the season back in November as they brushed aside a West Brom side that were sitting third in the table.
But Routledge believes that he and his team-mates will face a sterner test of their credentials this weekend.
"It's going to be a tough game," he said. "We played some really good football in the reverse fixture at home and got the win.
"We've shown a few times this season that we are capable of that kind of football, but it's even nicer to go on and win the game.
"But Saturday will be a lot different. We are in a little battle with them in terms of league position and we will be looking to come away from there with something positive."
Routledge helped himself to two goals against the Baggies back in November, playing a starring role alongside fellow wingers Pablo Hernandez and Nathan Dyer.
It has been an excellent season for the former England Under-21 international, who has scored five goals in 34 appearances thus far.
And the winger, who signed a new contract back in January, revealed he is enjoying the opportunity to express himself this season.
"There's been an opportunity since the start of the season for me to play," he said. "Thankfully I've managed to keep my place and play reasonably well.
"It's gone well for me this year, but the same goes for the rest of the players and the team as a whole. The manager gives us the freedom to play and that is when we are at our best.
"Right now I'm enjoying my football."
Last Saturday's win over Newcastle took the Swans up to 40 points in the Premier League, leaving them all but safe with 10 games still to play.
Laudrup's men still have the top five to play before the end of the campaign, and Routledge insists the players will be making sure they finish as high as possible.
"It's down to us now to finish the season strongly," he said. "I don't know how high we can finish this year but we will just be taking each game as it comes and see where it takes us.
"But we can't ease off. If you do that, even for one game, then you will get punished. Hopefully we'll be on our game this Saturday."