Swansea striker Michu will play against Chelsea despite booking threat


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The Independent Football

Michael Laudrup will not be tempted to leave top scorer Michu out of his side against Chelsea, despite knowing a booking would see the Spaniard miss a clash with Southampton the Swansea boss believes is more important.

Michu has quickly become a cult hero among the Liberty Stadium faithful after scoring seven goals in just 11 appearances since arriving from Rayo Vallecano in a £2.5million deal in the summer.

The midfielder's goalscoring prowess has seen him start the last three games up front, but while his goal count has been a positive, his yellow card tally of four is potentially a headache for his manager.

With Swansea's target once again being Premier League survival, Laudrup knows it is the games against sides in the lower half of the table that will go a long way to deciding the Welsh club's destiny.

But the Dane does not plan to leave Michu out against the embattled Blues, although he has spoken to the player about the matter.

Laudrup said: "He is a very important player, he is our top scorer, his movement is good and he is making assists. I have spoken to him about it and I said 'I want you to play'.

"The fifth booking; when it comes it comes. He is tall and with his long legs there may be a tackle where he will think he can get the ball and may give away a foul and get a yellow, that happens.

"But I will say not to do anything silly, don't get booked for saying anything to the referee or anything like that. But it can come at any time.

"He wants to play against Chelsea and he wants to play against Southampton so when it comes it comes."

But Laudrup believes any points picked up against Chelsea will be a bonus, compared with the importance of denying Southampton a result next weekend.

He said: "We are not competing with Chelsea in the table, to win at Southampton would mean a lot as it would be three extra points for us and none for them.

"I always prefer to beat the teams we are fighting directly with in the table. What we do against the big clubs is a bonus."

Tomorrow's game comes hot on the heels of Swansea's Capital One Cup win over Liverpool and former manager Brendan Rodgers in midweek.

The win put Swansea in the quarter-finals of the League Cup for the first time in their 100-year history, and a home draw against Middlesbrough has fans dreaming of a return to Wembley.

But Laudrup knows he and his players cannot allow their minds to wander.

He said: "We are back in the league now. I understand 100 per cent that it was a great night for this club and everybody connected. To beat Liverpool at Anfield is a great achievement and it was our first time beating one of the big clubs on their pitch.

"But now we have to park that tournament until mid-December and not start to talk about Wembley.

"The fans can have their dreams and I understand that, but before then we have seven league games, some very important ones and then we have Middlesbrough at home.

"The fans can dream about Wembley but the players and the staff cannot."