Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup: I'm looking to the future
SWANSEA City manager Michael Laudrup has outlined his plans to build on this season’s spectacular success after signing a new contract with the club.
Laudrup’s existing deal was due to expire at the end of next season, but he has penned a one-year extension which will keep him at the Liberty Stadium until 2015.
Speculation about Laudrup’s future has been rife since he guided Swansea to Capital One Cup glory at Wembley last month, with reports in Spain suggesting the 48-year-old as a potential successor to Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.
But the in-demand Dane has committed his future to the Swans for the time being, insisting he has never considered leaving the Liberty.
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“We’ve started something this season that I want to continue,” he said. “I know there has been a lot of speculation (about my future), but I’ve always said that I am happy here and I never had any doubts I would stay.
“I am delighted to sign the new deal and I’m already really looking forward to next season. I hope there will be some very exciting things happening with the team and with the club in Europe.”
When former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers left to take over at Liverpool last summer, there were fears the Swans would endure a difficult second season in the Premier League.
But having won the club’s first ever major trophy in the form of the Capital One Cup and guided them to eighth place in the table, Laudrup admits his tenure has exceeded even his highest expectations.
“I don’t think anyone could have imagined at the start of the season that things would have gone this well,” he said.
“I think everyone expected us to have a difficult year after the loss of the manager and four key players (Scott Sinclair, Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Steven Caulker).
“I kept hearing the words ‘second-season syndrome’, but that hasn’t happened because the players here have done a fantastic job.
“We haven’t finished yet though because we know there is still a lot left to do this season. “Once that’s complete then we will look to continue on the same road next season and keep pushing the club forward.
“We will be aiming for another great year — and I want to be part of it.”
Laudrup now hopes the speculation regarding his future will ease, although he is not holding his breath.
“I know rumours and speculation are all part of the game,” he said.
“It’s been happening a lot with our players as well recently. But I see that as a positive thing because it means they must be doing well.”
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins was delighted to see Laudrup extend his stay at the Liberty, and he believes the former Barcelona star’s devotion to the club’s passing football philosophy will be integral to future successes.
“This is a major boost for everyone involved with Swansea City,” said Jenkins.
“He is a pleasure to work with because he shares the same philosophy as everyone at this football club.
“He has ensured that we have progressed again this season and I am convinced his knowledge, experience and expertise will ensure we keep moving forward for the next few years.”