Swansea City: Hollins has three-point guide for Laudrup
MICHAEL Laudrup has been offered a three- pronged piece of advice from one of his Swansea City predecessors.
John Hollins was in the Vetch Field hotseat from 1998 to 2001, during which time he led the club to the Third Division title before being relegated back to the bottom tier the following season.
Now flying high in the Premier League, Swansea may be a very different club to the one Hollins left more than a decade ago.
But the former Chelsea midfielder reckons a new boss's priorities haven't altered.
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First Laudrup must get to know his squad as quickly as possible.
He should change only what needs changing.
And the Dane needs to be certain about his first signings because they could define his reign.
"A mistake some people make is to come in and assume that everyone is happy," said Hollins.
"The first thing I'd do is sit everyone down and say, if anyone's got any problems, domestic, this, that or the other, I will be available as soon as this meeting is finished to talk about them.
"Or you can come and see me after training, between 2pm and 4pm and I will try to help.
"You have to know your players and you have to know your staff."
Laudrup will inherit one of the strongest squads in Swansea's history after entering a club riding the crest of a wave.
Last year's 11th-place Premier League finish surpassed all expectations.
A team widely tipped for relegation survived at a canter and Hollins insists Laudrup should not tinker too much with a winning formula.
"If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it," said the ex-Rochdale, Crawley and Weymouth boss.
"Don't do an Andre Villas-Boas and try to change this player and develop this when you don't need to.
"The players all want what he does — to be successful, and they have been.
"But people will need to up their game — can they do it again?
"Teams know what Swansea are about so it's a question of whether they can stop them at source.
"Things started to fall apart at the end. Once teams found out how to stop them playing, sometimes Swansea were relatively easy to beat."
Laudrup has already been linked with a host of players as he sets about making his mark at the Liberty.
Danish duo Thomas Kahlenberg and Michael Krohn-Dehli, along with Dutchman Otman Bakkal, have all been suggested as possible new arrivals in SA1.
Hollins has urged the former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Ajax midfielder to choose his targets carefully because those first recruits will set the tone for his time in charge.
"I think there's an emphasis on the players he introduces," said Hollins.
"They will drive him for this next season.
"The first signings he makes are very important because they have to be the type of players he wants.
"They will define his style."
Though Laudrup will have to be savvy with his signings, Hollins reckons there's no question of the 48-year-old being able to settle at Swansea.
The celebrated midfielder has played all over the world and though he is yet to sample the British game, he has ample experience in other areas.
"These players that have been all over Europe, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Ajax, Bondby, they're adaptable," said the 65-year-old.
"He'll be professional because he knows what it's like to be at the top clubs in the world.
"He's got great pedigree as a player and great pedigree as someone who's played under the best managers in the world.
"Johan Cruyff in particular was one of his mentors.
"He seems to have strong principles and if he doesn't get what he wants, he walks."
Swansea will hope Laudrup sticks around for a little while yet.
At least long enough to add his own chapter to the club's recent success story.