Swansea City's Chico Flores reveals history lessons
CHICO Flores has revealed how Michael Laudrup's Spanish stars reached for the history books before joining Swansea City.
"Myself, Michu and Pablo (Hernandez) all did some research on the club before we came here," the former Real Mallorca defender says.
"We know about the history. We know Swansea had some big problems ten years ago and we know the fans own a big percentage of the club.
"We know Swansea are a modest club — even last season, we were training in a public gym alongside the fans.
"But modest teams can still play good football. That is what we do."
Flores's English remains a work in progress, hence he talks of Swansea's climb from Liga 2 to Liga 1, then to the Championship and Premier League.
At the Liberty, expectations continue to grow.
The team who were written off as cannon fodder when they reached the top division only a couple of years ago were tipped by many this summer to challenge for a place in the top seven.
After Swansea's unspectacular start to 2013-14, opinions have shifted among some on the outside.
Within the dressing room, Flores explains, no-one was getting carried away in the first place.
"We have to be realistic," he adds.
"We have to think our first goal is to stay in the Premier League every year.
"We are all ambitious — we all want to be in the top ten if we can — but we have to remember where the club came from.
"I think that when we play well, we are one of the best footballing teams in the Premier League.
"But even though last year we won the cup and we had some really good achievements, we have to be realistic.
"We are a modest team and we have to work to stay in the Premier League.
"We have not had a great start to this season, but we have to remember where we came from. We should not worry."
Concerns may grow for Swansea if their league form does not improve.
Seven points is a reasonable return from the first seven games of the new campaign given that Swansea have already faced four genuine top-six contenders.
But with some less demanding fixtures now on the horizon, Laudrup's side must look to put together a sequence of good results, starting when Sunderland visit on Saturday.
Flores argues that if performances remain at their current level, results will improve because Swansea are not taking on heavyweight opponents every week.
"I am happy with the way we have been playing," he says.
"The team are on the same track as last year, when we achieved some incredible things.
"We are working hard to progress and we are playing good football even though we are not a big club.
"I believe we can achieve good things again this season."
Victory this weekend would certainly aid the cause.