Michael Laudrup aiming for Capital One Cup success with Swansea

Swans face Middlesbrough tonight

Michael Laudrup believes guiding Swansea to Wembley would rank as one of the finest achievements of his career as the south Wales club prepare to face Middlesbrough in the last eight of the Capital One Cup.

The 48-year-old enjoyed numerous cup successes during his glittering playing career.

The Dane won the European Cup with Barcelona at Wembley in 1992 as well as domestic knockout triumphs in Spain and Holland.

During his managerial career he has also experienced cup success in Denmark with Brondby and guided Getafe to the Copa del Rey final in 2008.

But Swansea had never previously reached this stage of the League Cup in their 100-year history, and Laudrup is aware this is a special opportunity for his squad.

"I won medals with big teams but that's different because you can go to a final and lose but the next year you get the chance to go to another final and perhaps win, or win the league," he said.

"But at a smaller clubs it's different. I can say it because I tried it with Getafe and it was a fantastic year. It was difficult because we started so poorly in the league and it nearly cost us in the end because we had three competitions and it can be difficult.

"But if we win that will be January's problem with three competitions to play for.

"But in this competition where we can go into last four which could be great, not only for the fans but the players as well.

"I don't know how many of these players have been in finals. I know Pablo (Hernandez) did with me, it is so different to play a game to win a trophy."

He added: "You go into the league and can say your target is this or that, to avoid relegation or finish in mid-table, but there is no trophy. The trophy is to play one more year.

"But to actually play for a trophy is fantastic."

But Middlesbrough, flying high in the npower Championship, stand between the Swans and the next step on the road to Wembley.

Tony Mowbray's side are focused on their promotion effort, but would relish the opportunity to repeat their League Cup triumph of 2004 and the Teesiders have shown their ability to cause an upset on the road with their win at Sunderland.

But should the last-eight clash end up going the distance, the home side will go into a penalty shootout without any rehearsal.

"I have my opinions about penalties. I don't think you can practise them," said Laudrup.

"You can practise 100 times about where you want to put them, but when you walk from the centre circle to the spot and think about what you have to do the goal gets so small, the keeper so big and you cannot practise that."

"The dual between the player and the keeper is something special, it is about your mentality, you cannot train that."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor