Swansea not yet looking ahead to Welsh derby against Cardiff insists Michael Laudrup
Two Welsh sides will occupy the Premier League next season
Thursday 18 April 2013
Michael Laudrup has welcomed Cardiff's promotion to the Premier League but says he and Swansea still have targets to achieve this season before they can look ahead to next term's south Wales derbies.
Cardiff's goalless draw against Charlton on Tuesday ensured there will be two Welsh clubs in the top flight for the first time, and both sets of fans are already eagerly anticipating the meetings between the fierce rivals.
The Bluebirds' promotion also continues a superb season for Welsh club football, following as it does on the back of Swansea's Capital One Cup success and Wrexham's FA Trophy triumph.
But Laudrup still has his sights on a top-10 Premier League finish, and the hype over the Welsh derby can wait as he focuses on Saturday's meeting with Southampton.
He said: "For Welsh football to have two teams in the Premier League is a great achievement, I know for the fans they will be two very interesting games, but that is next season.
"We still have to keep our eyes on this season, we still have six games to go and if we take this game against Southampton, it's a key game.
"If we want to stay in the top 10 - and I say stay because we have been in the Top 10 for many weeks - we need a win on Saturday, especially when you look at the games coming up, including games against all the top three."
Laudrup has played in some of European football's biggest derbies after his years as a player with the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Lazio.
And despite his desire to concentrate on the here and now, he admits he expects their games against Cardiff to be similar to his experiences in Rome.
"I've never been involved in a south Wales derby, but I have heard a lot since I came last summer," he said.
"There are a lot of big derbies in the world and I played in a lot of them, they all are a little different.
"For Barcelona against Real Madrid there are over 400 miles between the cities, but El Clasico is one of biggest games in the world.
"But from what I've heard, you can compare Swansea against Cardiff to Lazio and Roma, where I played in five or six really heavy games.
"They were clubs in the same city, with big crowds and lots of temperament, they were huge games."
Laudrup, who has previously faced Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino as a player and a manager in Spain, has no new injury concerns ahead of the meeting with the Saints.
But full-back Neil Taylor is moving ever closer to a return from his lengthy lay-off with a broken ankle.
Laudrup suggested the Wales international could be included in the squad to face Southampton, although it is expected he will make his comeback at a later date.
"He played the whole game for the under-21s on Monday," said Laudrup.
"I went to see him and he did well. This will be another level but we will see him before the end of the season, in part of a game or in squad.
"It could be this weekend or the next or another one because we still have six games to go."
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