Europa League will help keep Michael Laudrup at Swansea City, says chairman Huw Jenkins
HUW Jenkins reckons the challenge of Europe will drive Michael Laudrup on next season, after admitting some of his predecessors in the Liberty dug-out gave up on Swansea City.
Laudrup looks certain to remain Swansea manager for at least one more campaign after signing a contract extension earlier this month.
And Jenkins believes the prospect of the Europa League has helped convince the Dane to stick around.
Swansea's last three managers — Brendan Rodgers, Paulo Sousa and Roberto Martinez — have all quit the club for other jobs. But according to Jenkins, Laudrup can see scope to progress his own career in SA1.
"The biggest challenge will be to achieve more next season," said the Swansea chairman.
"That has been the case in the past, and that has had a bearing on managers leaving us to take jobs elsewhere.
"Sometimes people do look for another challenge when they think they have achieved all they can at their current club.
"We have had to cope with that in the past — I think those reasons were important to some of our previous managers.
"But we are in Europe now and I think that gives us momentum for next season.
"Qualifying for Europe is a massive thing I think in terms of keeping everything together — it gives Michael a new challenge and it's a new challenge for new players."
Swansea lost Rodgers to Liverpool last summer after the Northern Irishman had led the club into the top flight and then delivered a mid-table finish.
In 2010 Sousa quit for what he thought was a better job at Leicester City, while Martinez departed 12 months earlier for Wigan after becoming frustrated at Swansea.
The Spaniard was disappointed that Swansea failed to sign Jordi Gomez on a permanent basis — his £1.5 million valuation was out of reach — and he was also annoyed by a lack of progress on a purpose-built training ground.
Swansea have though moved on since then, and Jenkins hopes that will continue under Laudrup.
The former Barcelona star is contracted to Swansea until the summer of 2015 after extending the two-year deal he signed when he arrived in Wales by a further 12 months.
Whether he will actually be around until the end of the new agreement remains to be seen — but Jenkins reckons a relatively long stint at the Liberty would do him good.
Laudrup's three previous managerial jobs — at Real Mallorca, Spartak Moscow and Getafe — have all been short-lived.
"Having looked at Michael's career as a manager, I think he needs a period of two or three years with us to take him to a different level — one to be successful and two to have that stability and show the rest of Europe that this what he can do as a manager.
"I have told him that and I have told his agent that."