Swansea boss Michael Laudrup: 'Focus on the team, like Fernando Torres has learnt to do'
MICHAEL Laudrup has pointed to the example of Fernando Torres in his response to speculation about unrest at Swansea City.
Laudrup is calling for a united front when Swansea host Wigan Athletic in what looks a key Premier League encounter this weekend.
And the Dane reckons his players can take a leaf out of Torres's book amid suggestions that some within the camp are unhappy with his methods.
Two reports in the national media last week claimed senior players at the Liberty had complained to chairman Huw Jenkins about Laudrup's approach.
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In his first interview since the stories emerged, Swansea's manager has argued that every club will have their share of disgruntled stars.
And Laudrup has told his players that the focus must be on the team rather than the individual ahead of Wigan's visit to Wales.
"I read when I was taking my coffee this morning an interview with Fernando Torres," Laudrup told the Evening Post.
"It was in the Spanish paper, El Pais, and the headline was 'I reached a point where I didn't care if we won or lost'.
"He talked about when he was a young player in Spain and he saw players who were not playing and they didn't care about the results of the team.
"He said he would never be like that.
"But then he said that one day, I think when he was at Chelsea, he did get to that point.
"Then he said — I don't want to do that, I want to be part of the team.
"To me that is very important."
Laudrup tells the tale of Torres, Chelsea's £50 million Spanish international forward, at a time when some of his players may be a little disillusioned.
Whatever their source, the newspaper stories have left Laudrup disappointed.
They have come after a run of four Premier League games without a victory. As Swansea bid to end that sequence on Saturday, Laudrup wants all concerned in SA1 to focus on the team's success rather than any individual issues which may exist.
"Players who are not playing are never happy," he added.
"If you have 24 players in your squad, you have more who are unhappy every Saturday than are happy, because 11 are playing and 13 are not.
"If you are not in the 11, you are not happy.
"If you are not even in the 18, you are definitely not happy. That's something we have to accept in football, but we all have to remember to be a squad.
"If we are not a squad, it does not work.
"That's the most important thing to come out of this (the newspaper stories), not that someone isn't happy."
Laudrup admits to feeling confused about the nature of the reports suggesting there is disgruntlement within the Swansea squad.
"I have my experience in world football," he said, "and I would say it's curious how a story develops the way the media is today.
"It starts at one level, then four or five hours later it becomes a different story.
"You could start a story, then I put something on top and then another person puts a little more on it.
"Then it goes from one country to another country and another. That's strange.
"We have to analyse this like we do after games.
"Just like after a defeat, we have to learn from it and move on.
"We can look at what's in the papers or in the media, but then we say the most important thing for us right now is the team."