Michael Laudrup believes Arsenal fans remain behind Arsene Wenger

Some fans have voiced their discontent

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup believes Arsene Wenger still has the backing of the the Arsenal supporters.

The Frenchman has come in for stick from Gunners' fans and was subjected to chants of 'you don't know what you are doing' over his substitutions during last weekend's goalless draw with Aston Villa.

After the midweek draw with Everton, the Gunners sit seventh in the table, just one place ahead of the Swans as the sides prepare to meet at the Emirates Stadium.

But Laudrup firmly believes Wenger will have the support of the home fans when kick-off time comes, regardless of what has gone before.

He said: "Just because they are unhappy about a change he made, or the performance in one or two games, does not change that they respect him and what he has done and is doing for the club, he has been amazing.

"We also have to be careful when we talk about people booing managers, like with Rafa Benitez at Chelsea.

"How many does the Emirates hold, 60,000? There could be 500 or 1,000 of them who may say 'why did you change that player?' But you cannot generalise and say everyone has an opinion like that.

"I am certain Arsenal fans really respect what he is doing and what he has done.

"That does not mean you can't disagree with something, that is fair enough, but one thing it does not mean is you don't respect him or don't like him."

He added: "I don't think we will get the crowd on our side. Every crowd always supports their own squad, even if some of them think the manager has made mistakes it does not change that, they will always back their team.

"He has been there so many years and done great. Just because someone thinks he made a mistake, it does not mean he is not a great manager."

Swansea head to north London boosted by a superb display in the 3-1 win over West Brom in midweek but Pablo Hernandez, one of the architects of that victory, will not face the Gunners because of a thigh injury.

And Laudrup is unsure whether the Spain winger will be back in time to face Norwich a week on Saturday.

He said: "We don't know yet how bad it is, it is a small muscle injury but for Saturday it will be impossible.

"If he could play against Norwich that would be a good sign. It depends on how it heals.

"If we are lucky he could be back against Norwich, if it is a bit more serious it could be maybe two or three weeks.

"These muscle injuries happen the longer you go with a lot of games, it is part of the game you have to accept and that's why you have a squad so you can use them. From Christmas through New Year, especially if we get through in the cups, we will have a lot of games."

Mark Clattenburg will be in charge of tomorrow's fixture, having returned to action at Southampton in midweek after being cleared of racially abusing Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel.

And Laudrup is pleased to see the official back in action.

He said: "It is good to see this case is finally closed and he is back. He is a good referee and we have to try to help him by playing fair.

"If we think he makes a mistake the players can tell him, that's no problem, but it is good it is over.

"These cases have to be solved quickly so no-one can speculate as the more time it takes, the more speculation there is. But it is over, he is back and he will want to forget what happened, learn from it and get on with his life and his refereeing."

PA

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