VIDEO: Laudrup: "I am in it to win it"
MICHAEL Laudrup insists Swansea City head to Birmingham tonight (7.45) believing they can win the Capital One Cup for a second successive season.
Swansea clinched the first trophy in their history when they hammered Bradford 5-0 in last February’s final at Wembley.
But with a Europa League campaign also packed into a cramped schedule, some have suggested Swansea would be better off bowing out of this competition early on.
Not Laudrup, who like last year insists the cups represent a golden opportunity for smaller clubs to claim silverware.
And he stresses his team will be going all out for the win that would represent a first step towards repeating last term’s heroics.
“I see it as a game we want to win. Why go into a game or competition saying you don’t care? I do care and I want to win it,” said the Swansea boss.
“We may end up losing against Birmingham but we go into it with a competitive team and we know we have the ability to go through even if we make changes.
“I remember saying to the players before this round last year that this was the shortest way to success.
“It’s still difficult but you never know. You have to go to the lower clubs if you want to go to the big stadiums and get the big wins.
“We are in a completely different situation now, but we want to win this game. Then we are in the last 16 and you win another round and see what happens.
“No-one expects us to get to the final again because it would not be logical to go and do it again, but we will still try.” Neil Taylor comes back into contention after recovering from a thigh injury, but Pablo Hernandez remains sidelined.
Ashley Williams may also miss out with an ankle problem, while fellow centre-backGarry Monk hopes to make his first appearance of the season.
There may also be outings for forwards Rory Donnelly and Alvaro Vazquez.
“We don’t make changes for the sake of it, we made changes from Liverpool to Valencia and then to Palace and I don’t think anyone could say we started with a side that was not very, very competitive. That was after five changes in both games,” added Laudrup.
“Garry, like everyone else, wants to play. It’s difficult because I want to try to use the squad but I can only ever use 11 and when everyone is fit there will be those who are outside the matchday squad. Everyone wants to play every time and they are not nice choices to make.
“Not one player in the squad — even the ones who did not play — would not have enjoyed that day at Wembley.
“These are great memories and they want more.”