Laudrup: Swansea can handle favourites tag
By Football News
Michael Laudrup knows Swansea have to adapt to cope with being favourites in their UEFA Europa League clash with St. Gallen on Thursday.
Swansea began their European campaign with a 3-0 victory over Valencia last month and appeared to revel in their role of underdogs at Mestalla.
The Premier League side have won just once since that game, but Laudrup is confident his team are prepared for the visit of their Swiss opponents, even though they have more pressure on them after their success in Spain.
"We have had a fantastic start - it couldn’t have been better - beating the top favourites of the group 3-0 in their ground," the Dane said.
"Now we have two home games against the other two teams, starting tomorrow with St. Gallen, who won their first game at home. It’s already quite an important game in this group.
"We had nothing to lose against Valencia. Nobody expected us to get anything.
"Tomorrow is different. Everybody will say that, right now, in this group, Swansea are the team to beat - and they are playing at home. We have to accept that, at this moment, we are the favourites for this game.
"Tomorrow we have a small amount of pressure, because now we have to show that we can do it at home against a good side, who have had some good results.
"If we lose tomorrow, people will say we were a little lucky against Valencia."
Laudrup has watched St. Gallen closely in preparation for the game, and knows Swansea must not underestimate their threat - especially on the break.
"I have seen both their games against Kuban Krasnodar and Spartak Moscow," he added. "They don’t have the big stars but they work really hard.
"They play a little different than us - a bit more direct.
"We are the home team, so we will have to try and control the game, but always with an eye on their counter-attacks and their team spirit."
Laudrup also confirmed that captain Ashley Williams and defender Garry Monk will not be involved on Thursday, while midfielder Pablo Hernandez is doubtful with a hamstring injury.