Laudrup wastes no time appraising Bradford

Michael Laudrup
Michael Laudrup
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SWANSEA City manager Michael Laudrup has already begun his tactical assessment of Capital One Cup final opponents Bradford City.

The Swans only qualified for the Wembley meeting with League Two City on Wednesday night when a goalless draw with European champions Chelsea at Liberty Stadium was enough to take them through 2-0 on aggregate.

But less than 24 hours later, Laudrup revealed he had watched a DVD compilation of City’s League Cup wins over Wigan Athletic, Arsenal amd the two-legged semi-final defeat of Aston Villa.

“The DVD has been invented (sic) so I have already seen four or five games,” said the Swans’ boss.

“I have seen the games against Wigan, Arsenal and both against Aston Villa and looking at those will be important for us.

“What we have done is a small fairytale, but what Bradford have done is amazing.

“It is great what they have achieved in beating three Premier League sides, but hopefully it stops there.”

Laudrup feels it will take time for the club’s progression to a “fairytale” Wembley final to sink in.

While Eden Hazard’s sending-off for kicking a ball boy has grabbed most of the headlines, it should not detract from Swansea’s achievement.

Just 10 years ago the club sat rock bottom of the Football League, and a year earlier had faced going out of business.

That they are now managed by one of the finest European players of the last 30 years and occupy the lofty heights of the top half of the Premier League table seems barely credible. Yet they will go to Wembley with a chance to secure their first major trophy, and the additional prize of European qualification.

Laudrup says the six-day turnaround before travelling to face Sunderland – the Swans inactive this weekend following FA Cup replay defeat to Arsenal – has come at the right time to allow the scale of their success to sink in.

The Dane said: “I think everybody, the players, the staff, and the fans need a couple of days to understand we are there, but the good thing is we have a month to be ready. We have three games in the league before then, but we just need to enjoy it as it is not often in football you can enjoy.

“We can now enjoy this final for at least a month and hopefully for a while after.”

While Swansea can look forward to a Wembley final, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech said the Blues need to find some consistency.

“It looked like we were back on course but we have had another blip,” he said. “It’s clear we need to be more consistent.

“But we are still in the FA Cup, the Premier League and the Europa League.”