Michael Laudrup looks ahead to 'key game' for Swansea against Reading
Tuesday 25 December 2012
Swansea may be fresh from a confidence-boosting draw with Manchester United, but manager Michael Laudrup has told his players the Boxing Day trip to Reading is a game of even greater magnitude.
Swansea maintained their impressive record against the Barclays Premier League's big guns as they secured a 1-1 draw against United on Sunday, Michu's 13th league goal of the season cancelling out Patrice Evra's opener at the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea had previously taken points off Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle this term and sit 11th in the table having amassed 24 points from 18 games.
But with Premier League survival the main priority, Laudrup knows the trip to face bottom club Reading, who have suffered seven straight defeats, is arguably more important in terms of ensuring Swansea remain a top-flight club.
He said: "The result against United was a great result for the club, the players, the staff and the supporters.
"We can enjoy it for 24 hours or so but from Tuesday we have to start thinking about Reading as it is even more important. It is a key game.
"It is our last game in the first half of the season, and if we win that it would be fantastic.
"In fact for us to turn around with 27 points would be excellent."
Teenage left-back Ben Davies admits the Swans are brimming with confidence after taking a point off United, but are taking nothing for granted despite Reading's struggles.
"We have a lot of confidence going into that game against Reading after a big draw and a big performance," he said.
"We have every right to go there and try to get three points.
"Hopefully we can do that if we match our last performance.
"We can't go into it expecting an easy game from them because they're fighting for their lives, and I don't think we will get an easy game.
"We've got to go into it looking to get three points and it will be a big three points if we can get them."
Laudrup may decide to make changes against the Royals given the quick turnaround from the meeting with United.
The Dane hopes to have Pablo Hernandez available after almost four weeks out with a thigh injury, but full-back Angel Rangel is unlikely to be risked as he looks to recover from a calf problem.
Laudrup said: "Both Pablo and Angel have muscle injuries and you have to be careful with muscle injuries as if you start too soon you can lose them for three weeks, which could mean six or seven games for us.
"He will be with us when he is ready, that could be against Reading, with Angel he might be back for the Fulham game."
Latest in Sport
Daniel Sturridge injury: Alongside Luis Suarez, how the Liverpool SAS may FAIL to become the most lethal partnership in Premier League history
Barcelona v Real Madrid: Copa del Rey final 2014 match preview
Diego Costa transfer to Chelsea impossible to stop, admits Diego Simeone
Hillsborough disaster anniversary: Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez among those at Anfield to pay tribute to the 96 who lost their lives
Daniel Sturridge injury latest: Liverpool striker has 'small strain' and will be given chance to prove fitness for Norwich game
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for auction...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 3 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'