Michael Laudrup calls on Swansea City to keep up momentum
MICHAEL Laudrup has challenged Swansea City to maintain momentum against West Brom on Wednesday after yesterday's encouraging draw with Liverpool.
Laudrup's men stretched their unbeaten run to five games after a solid display against Brendan Rodgers's Reds.
Swansea have lost only once in eight matches — and that was away at Manchester City — and have climbed to ninth in the Premier League thanks to their good spell.
But the big challenges just keep on coming in the top flight, with third-place West Brom due at the Liberty in midweek before next Saturday's trip to Arsenal.
"We have extended our good moment of form and that is the most important thing," Laudrup said.
"We have West Brom, who have been this season's big surprise so far, and then we have to go to London to play Arsenal.
"We are in a difficult week, but we want to keep the positive run going."
Danny Graham is doubtful for the West Brom clash because a bout of sickness which kept him out yesterday.
Luke Moore has also been suffering — hence Leroy Lita made the bench against Liverpool — but he was due back in training today.
Laudrup axed skipper Garry Monk from his starting side in favour of Chico Flores, and explained that it was the Spaniard's extra pace which won him the vote.
"I am the first to admit that Garry has played three very good games," he said. "But because Luis Suarez is so fast, I wanted both Chico and Ashley (Williams) in there. When Suarez dropped off into midfield, I wanted one of them to follow him because if you let him turn, he can hurt you in a split-second."
Jonathan de Guzman is another slight injury concern ahead of the Baggies clash after he came off early yesterday because of a hamstring problem.
Pablo Hernandez was Swansea's star performer going forward in the Liverpool game, with the Spanish international looking more likely than anyone in white to break the deadlock.
At the other end Suarez was a menace, while Raheem Sterling hit the woodwork and Jose Enrique had a goal ruled out for a debatable offside call. But Laudrup felt the draw was a fair result, adding: "I am pleased with the performance of my team.
"Liverpool have some good players and you know there will be times when they have the ball.
"When you play against Suarez and (Steven) Gerrard they can invent something from nowhere, but I thought we handled them well.
"We got a clean sheet and I can hardly remember the last one. I know the defence will be happy with that."