Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup has insisted that the club will need to improve on this season’s heroics in order to cement themselves as a top Premier League outfit.
February’s 5-0 Carling Cup final victory against fourth-tiered Bradford City at Wembley gave Laudrup’s side their first ever major trophy in the club’s centenary year, meaning the Swans will also fly the Welsh flag in Europe next season.
And despite the South Wales side exceeding expectations this campaign, Laudrup maintains they will have to go one better next year as they continue to distance themselves away from the foot of the Premier League.
Laudrup told Yahoo! in a press release sent to GiveMeFootball: “It’s impossible to always move forward, but sometimes even maintaining the status quo is enough.
“At this club we cannot pretend to think that we are going to win another major trophy next year or even the year after that because that will be very difficult. I think our target should be to try to at least stay mid-table and consolidate ourselves as a Premier league side.
“It will be very tough to stay in mid-table because some of the other clubs below us want to invest to improve.”
Aside from the club’s Carling Cup triumph, the Swans have recorded away victories against three of the league’s top six this season – a feat that Laudrup is extremely proud of.
The Liberty Stadium chief added: “Winning the final was the major moment, but in a season there are always ups and downs, and always moments you remember particularly well.
“I think winning several difficult away games is a particular highlight, this season we won at Anfield, Stamford Bridge and The Emirates Stadium.
“So there has been some very important wins in stadia where you normally don’t expect to come away with anything.”
Next season will see two Welsh sides in England’s elite domestic competition for the first time in the league’s history, and Laudrup is relishing the prospect of facing off against Swansea’s bitter rivals Cardiff City.
“Yes, I am (looking forward to it), I’ve heard a lot about the Cardiff and Swansea games,” the 48-year-old continued.
“I played in several derbies and other huge games in my playing career so I’m looking forward to experiencing a new one.”
Speculation regarding the Dane’s future is widespread at the moment.
The former Real Madrid man has recently been linked with the manager’s position at the Spanish giants, and the vacant role at Goodison Park, but Laudrup has refuted reports - insisting he is happy is Wales.
“I have never been to England as either a player or as a manager, and it has been a huge experience,” explained Laudrup.
“To win a trophy in my first season, with a club that has never won anything before, has been brilliant and I have enjoyed every aspect.”
Swansea end their campaign at home to Fulham on Sunday and with a top eight spot potentially up for grabs, Laudrup will hope his side exert themselves in the same manner they have all season.
For more insight from Michael Laudrup and other leading managers plus exclusive Premier League highlights go to: www.yahoo.co.uk/sport
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