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Swansea deserve Napoli tie - Laudrup
Dec 16, 2013 1:35 PM EST
Michael Laudrup believes Swansea City’s UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie against Napoli is a reward for their exploits this season.
Laudrup's men qualified for the latter stages of a European competition for the first time despite a 1-0 defeat to St Gallen last Thursday.
And although the Dane is expecting a difficult challenge against the Serie A side, he views the draw as one that Swansea players and the fans have earned.
"It is probably the hardest tie we could have had," Laudrup told the club's official website.
"I said before the draw that I felt Napoli and Juventus were the best teams in the competition. But I also said that my players and our fans deserved a big club.
"The squad has already played 27 games so far this season, which has not been easy, while the fans have given fantastic support throughout.
"Over 1,000 fans travelled to St Gallen last week which is amazing and says everything about the supporters at this club.
"Napoli is certainly a big club; with a very good team and a top manager. They won all their home games in the Champions League and for a club to fail to qualify after picking up 12 points is unheard of.
"It is certainly a tie for everyone to look forward to. It will be a great experience for the team, the club, the fans and the city."