Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup hinting at Itay Shechter start
MICHAEL Laudrup has hinted that Itay Shechter could make the first start of his Swansea City career this weekend as he considers a reshuffle at Newcastle United.
Laudrup admits he has a lot on his mind as Swansea prepare to take on the Toon.
The hamstring injury suffered by Ki Sung-Yueng at Southampton last weekend means a change will be forced on the Swansea manager at St James' Park.
He must now decide whether a straight swap with Kemy Agustien is the way forward — or whether to tinker with his frontline as well.
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Rather than start with Agustien, Laudrup could play Jonathan de Guzman at the base of midfield alongside Leon Britton and then drop Michu in behind the striker.
The Spaniard has been leading the line in recent weeks, but Laudrup could instead ask Shechter or Danny Graham to spearhead Swansea on Tyneside.
Another option would be to leave Michu, who has not scored in four matches, where he is and shift Wayne Routledge into the attacking midfield role.
"I have some things to think about," Laudrup conceded.
"We know Ki is not going to play so we have to decide what to do with the team.
"Do we just put one in instead of him or do we change things round in midfield and up front?
"Kemy is a midfielder so obviously he is one of the possibilities for us, but I have to think about more things.
"In the second half at Southampton, we were under pressure even when we had three midfielders on the pitch.
"That's why I wanted to put another forward on — I was going to do it even before they scored.
"Sometimes people will say that if you are under pressure, you should put in more defensive players, but I think the other way round.
"I think if you are under pressure you can put another striker on to change the balance. You can defend by trying to attack."
Newcastle fan Graham should be fit to return to the Swansea squad having missed the Southampton trip because of a back spasm.
But it seems he is by no means guaranteed to regain his starting place even if Laudrup goes for an out-and-out centre-forward.
"Danny is a possibility," the Dane added.
"Also I have tried to give a chance to Itay in the last couple of games and I think he has done well.
"He came on against Chelsea and he did well again when he came on against Southampton.
"I think he has really adapted so I think he is a possibility for us.
"But I don't want to say this one or that one will start at the moment. I am looking at two or three possibilities and then we need at least a couple of alternatives to change things during the game as well."
Shechter, who is on a season-long loan from Kaiserslautern, has made only four substitute appearances so far for Swansea.
The Israel international's best moment yet in the white jersey came against Chelsea 11 days ago, when his clever touch helped set up Pablo Hernandez's late equaliser.