Laudrup urges Swansea to attack Chelsea
Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has told his team not to sit back in the second leg of their League Cup semifinal with Chelsea on Wednesday, despite their two-goal aggregate lead.
Opportunistic goals from Michu and Danny Graham in the away leg gave Swansea a 2-0 success at Stamford Bridge and left the Welsh club on the verge of a first appearance in a major cup final.
However, Laudrup says it would be foolish for Swansea to attempt just to preserve their advantage, particularly as Chelsea have fared better in their away games than in their home fixtures this season.
"They have been much better away than at home," said the Dane on Tuesday.
"They won 4-0 at Stoke, they got five against Southampton and against Leeds. They also won at Everton, so they are maybe the best away team in the Premier League.
"It is different to start a game from 0-0 rather than 2-0, but the only danger is if we think can go out and just defend – 90 minutes is a very long time to do that.
"We have to be prepared to do a little of both. We have to try and get on the ball and look to attack, although we know there will be moments when we have to accept we will have to defend.
"For me and the players this is fantastic, and I would imagine it is for fans as well.
"We're not a club who can pretend we go into these games very often, so now we have a possibility, a fantastic chance and we will do our best, and more than that if we can."
Laudrup only took over at Swansea seven months ago but he says the reactions of the people around him have left him in no doubt as to the magnitude of Wednesday's match.
"I'm looking forward to it. It is something special," said the former Barcelona and Real Madrid playmaker.
"I have been asked a lot how important this game could be, but I'm not the right person to ask because I have only been here seven months. It is much better to ask the people who have been here five, 10, 15 years or more.
"I have our wins at Anfield, the Emirates and Stamford Bridge, but this is different because we are a club who don't often get the chance to compete for trophies and suddenly we have a possibility."
Laudrup is hoping that Spanish centre-back Chico Flores will be fit to play at the Liberty Stadium after missing Saturday's 3-1 win at Stoke City with a knee injury.
"He trained well yesterday (Monday), so I think he should be fit," said Laudrup.
"With a knee injury you can never know how bad it is, it can be anything from a few days to a couple of months, so we are quite lucky."