December 6 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has warned his players that the Canaries “are in even better form than us” as two of the Premier League’s upwardly mobile teams prepare to meet at the Liberty Stadium.
The Swans have rocketed into seventh place in the table after going six games unbeaten since a 1-0 defeat at Manchester City, while Chris Hughton’s team are up to 12th after eight league games without defeat.
Laudrup, who has accelerated Swansea’s progress in the top flight after taking over from Brendan Rodgers in the summer, sees many similarities between the two clubs and believes Norwich will make life difficult for his players.
He said: “I don’t know exactly what Chris Hughton has done because I have not watched his training sessions, so I can only say what I have seen on match days. I think they conceded quite a lot of goals at the start of the season, but since then they have been much more solid.
“We talk about momentum here, but they have exactly the same. I think the teams arrive in this game at the same level.”
After a 3-1 home win ended West Bromwich Albion’s run of four straight victories, the Swans followed up with a 2-0 victory at Arsenal, Spanish import Michu scoring both goals at the Emirates Stadium.
“I still think the first-half performance against West Brom last week was something incredible, yet I watched a TV programme the next day and they talked about all six games that night apart from ours,” said Laudrup.
“Then last Saturday we played really well but not even close to the levels we reached against West Brom, but it’s another world because we beat one of the big clubs.
“It makes a lot of noise when you beat Arsenal — suddenly we had Sky Sports News at training and we are on the news on the BBC. The players deserved all that credit at the beginning of the week, but now that has gone and we must focus on Norwich.
“This weekend the big story will be something else, but we need to focus because otherwise it’s a game we can lose easily.
“Norwich, after all, are in even better form than us.
“It’s a really difficult game for us. I don’t want to be negative, but we have to remember that small things can change things round very quickly.
“We could all enjoy what we have done in the last few weeks, but everything has to remain a certain context.”
Both teams are through to the Capital One Cup quarter-finals, with City awaiting Aston Villa’s visit on Tuesday and Swansea at home to Middlesbrough the following night.
“There is always a new game, and we now have three very difficult games in a week — Norwich, a team with us much confidence as us, a quarter-final where we will have to accept starting as favourites and a difficult trip to Spurs,” said Laudrup.
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s soft centre again contributed to their downfall as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Premier League win on Wednesday night at Anfield.