Swansea City chief Michael Laudrup rues Nathan Dyer turning point in Norwich City Premier League draw

Norwich City captain Sebastien Bassong casts a worried look towards Swansea's Nathan Dyer after the midfielder is treated for a damaged right ankle. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City captain Sebastien Bassong casts a worried look towards Swansea's Nathan Dyer after the midfielder is treated for a damaged right ankle. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Monday, December 16, 2013
7:00 AM

Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup admitted Nathan Dyer’s ankle injury could carry far-reaching consequences beyond a battling 1-1 Premier League draw at Carrow Road.

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Dyer had coolly lifted the visitors in front early on after brushing aside Sebastien Bassong, but the Swans’ dangerman was stretchered off four minutes before half-time following an aerial collision with Bassong who then landed heavily on the midfielder.

Laudrup now faces an anxious wait over the coming days to assess the full extent of the 26-year-old’s injury – although the Welsh club last night confirmed initial scans had shown no break – which the Dane insisted had a huge bearing on the contest as Gary Hooper levelled in the aftermath of Dyer’s sad exit.

“I think the game changed in two ways,” he said. “First of all, injuries are a part of sport and a part of football, but when things likes this happen – even though we don’t know how bad it is – we are all human, and I think his team-mates had 10 minutes when they suffered a bit and tactically we also lost our main threat with the runs from the second line, like when he had scored the goal.

“People get injured every game, but when you see people get carried out like that, you know it’s much more serious. You just go from playing one second to being out for you don’t know how long. We will wait to see the X-ray and then in a couple of days have an MRI scan to know if it is bad or really bad. Let’s wait and see. We will hope that if it is bad, it is not too bad. Everyone has asked how bad he is, but nobody really knows for sure until we get the tests.”

Laudrup conceded Hooper’s stunning volley in the six minutes of additional time caused by Dyer’s delay at the end of the opening period was another set-back.

“When the opponents score an equaliser just before half-time, it’s difficult to come back to the dressing room and I think we again suffered a bit after half-time, especially from set-pieces,” he said. “After that, the game was played a lot in midfield with both teams trying to get through. There weren’t many chances, until the last 10 minutes when suddenly they had a big chance and so did we. In the end 1-1 was fair at the end of a very difficult run of games.”

Wilfried Bony lashed wide in the final minutes with Swansea finishing the stronger despite their recent European exertions as part of three games in six days.

“We have already played now 27 games, one in the cup, 10 in Europe and the rest in the league and that is much more than we have played at this stage of last season,” said Laudrup. “Last year we had only played 19 games so that tells you, but I have never felt in all the games we play that in the last third we have four or five players who look really tired. That is really positive. We are trying always to rotate and to plan how we are going to play so we don’t get players who play too much and get injured. Right now we only have what you could call three central midfielders with Leon Britton out. They have been playing many games recently but apart from that we try to move the squad.”

Swansea’s draw kept the Welsh club inside the Premier League’s top 10 and on course for another successful season.

“If we look at the positives, we have 20 points now, with three games to go until the midway point of the season,” said Laudrup. “It’s the end of a run of seven games in three weeks, and we are still in Europe too. We have three difficult games before that point. We have Everton at home and Chelsea and Aston Villa away but everything is possible. We still have a potential nine points available. This season, there has been a lot of surprises, so let’s see where we will be in three games time. The first year Swansea turned at the halfway point with 20 points, last year 25 points and we will try to do the same.”

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