Europa League: International fixtures have influences team selection says Swansea manager Michael Laudrup
Three key players have been left out of the second leg against Petrolul Ploiesti
Thursday 29 August 2013
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup admits the demands of international football played a part in his decision not to include three key players in his squad for the second leg of their Europa League play-off against Petrolul Ploiesti.
The Welsh club go into tonight's second leg at Stadionul Ilie Oana with a handsome 5-1 lead after dismantling the Romanian cup holders at the Liberty Stadium last week.
The Swans travelled without Wales captain Ashley Williams, Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Bony and England Under-21 midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who were all nursing knocks but could be available for Sunday's Premier League visit to West Brom.
With the tie effectively over, Laudrup could be forgiven for looking to take some key players out of the firing line, but the Dane claims it is concerns over the workload of his international players which led the decision.
"It's not a question of resting them, but to get them chance to recover better because they don't have the same opportunity as the rest of the players will next week," he said.
"The rest have 15 days after Sunday's game before we play Liverpool so there is no problem there."
Laudrup was known to be less than happy that Williams and Ben Davies played a full 90 minutes of Wales' friendly against the Republic of Ireland.
The Dane insists he has put that frustration behind him, but admits it presents him with a challenge.
"That was the past," he said. "It was a friendly game and I don't want to have any problems now because we can't turn back the clock.
"The next two international breaks will be qualifiers which will be different so I don't see any necessity to turn back the clock and saying something which means someone else has to say something back and we end up in a debate. It's happened. It is how it is and we have to move on."
Laudrup admits the problem will be exacerbated should Swansea reach the group stages of the Europa League tonight.
"We want to have Europa League football, so it is up to me to think about the players and know that it is not just about this game and the weekend, it is about having a larger perspective," he said.
"Of course, when you are national coach you have six or seven games a year where you just need your players there. So we all have our interests.
"I have said before it's great a small club like ours have so many internationals but there is always a price to pay. Our job is to try and manage it in a good way, because they don't have the breaks the rest of them have."
Laudrup still hopes to strengthen his squad by adding another striker before the transfer window closes and, while no bids have been submitted, he admits West Brom's Peter Odemwingie and Getafe's Alvaro Vazquez would fit the bill.
He said: "Vazquez is a young player and a little different. He is a young forward who plays wide.
"He has similar characteristics to Odemwingie. I imagine that's why his name came up because they both fit into the profile that we are looking for."
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