Norwich City’s Javier Garrido well aware of Swansea’s Spanish threat
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Javier Garrido is the one member of Norwich City's squad who needed little in the way of a scouting report on Swansea's best continental imports.
The Spaniard's fellow countrymen Chico Flores, Angel Rangel, Pablo Hernandez and the free-scoring Michu have all emerged as key factors in the Swans' stellar season, capped by that landmark Capital One Cup winning excursion to Wembley.
Michael Laudrup is another product of the 'Spanish Way' with a decorated playing career for Real Madrid and Barcelona and spells in the dug out with Getafe and Real Mallorca, but Garrido charts Swansea's enduring success right back to another Iberian.
'It's been like that a long time. Roberto Martinez did a very good job and now Michael Laudrup has brought his mentality, the way he wants his team to play and they have the right footballers to play that way. They play quality football,' said Garrido. 'For Michu in his first season, he has been brilliant for Swansea and helped them win a title, which was important for them. Pablo Hernandez is a good player, he has ability and skill when he has the ball and is the kind of player who is difficult to mark.
'But I think in general Swansea play good football, a good team with good individuals but as a team they play really well. Now I think they are in a comfortable situation in the table so they don't need the points as much as we need them, but I am pretty sure they will come to Norwich to show what they can do and put us under pressure, but when we play at home, we show to everybody, even Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton when they came here that it is a difficult place to come, and we will need to show that again.'
Garrido admits an encore to that dramatic stoppage time success against the Toffees is overdue to arrest a run of just one win in 14 Premier League games.
'Definitely, that's not a very good thing for us because we need to win at home and also show what we can do away,' he said. 'We know every time we play away it's tough, it's difficult for us. In the end, our main strength is at home. The last game was a disappointment for everyone because we didn't expect that result, to be honest. After the game, if you see what Wigan did and what Norwich did the result wasn't fair from our point of view. That's football. They took the three points and that makes our next game against Swansea important.
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'We know which kind of games we have to come. For us it will be perfect to win this game. After that we have Arsenal, which is difficult, but the Norwich mentality is always to win. We try to do the best we can and sometimes we do better than others but in general the team is confident about the situation.'
Garrido insists City's recent winning curse over the Swans offers an additional cause for optimism with Norwich aiming for a fourth consecutive top flight victory over the Welsh side.
'In the last game we beat them and we know what we have to do to beat them,' he said. 'The first half was all for us and after that they started playing, because they have a very good team. They know what to do with the ball and they put us in a difficult situation. We play at Carrow Road against Swansea and I think it is going to be the perfect time to play against them. We need to win as soon as possible and to forget about what the risk is in being in that situation.
'The mentality is go and win. That has to be the main thing. If you start thinking about a draw, yes, a point is a point, but Norwich have to go and beat Swansea because at home we can beat them if we do the things we need to do.'
Chris Hughton's men plundered four goals at the Liberty Stadium in early December during a rare prolific outing, but Garrido backs the club's frontmen to prove their worth.
'It's another point on which the team needs to improve,' he said. 'We know the quality we have in front, the new players have come in to help improve that part of the team. When the team doesn't score, you are always focusing on the strikers but I think in general everybody has to help the strikers to score. It's for everybody to improve that.
'It's good to have had as many clean sheets as we have, but we know that to win games we need to score more goals and hopefully the strikers and midfielders – or anyone in front with an opportunity – can improve that, which is necessary for the team.'