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Laudrup: Squad 'gets' derby

Swansea boss Michael Laudrup insists the foreign legion on show in Sunday's South Wales derby will not detract from the passion of the occasion.

Last Updated: 04/11/13 at 21:16 Post Comment

Michael Laudrup: Foreigners understand passion

Michael Laudrup: Foreigners understand passion

There are likely to be just three Welshmen among the 22 players who start Sunday's game with Cardiff, in the form of Swansea's Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor and the Bluebirds' Craig Bellamy.

But Laudrup is confident his foreign contingent fully understands the meaning of the game.

"You cannot ask a guy from Spain to understand it completely, but they have their own derbies," he said.

"We have players who played in Sevilla v Real Betis, which is a huge derby in Spain. They know when they hear the word 'derby', they know what it means, perhaps not exactly what it is here, but wherever you are around the world there is always one thing in common; the importance to the fans."

Laudrup knows derby day success would be a major boost to Cardiff following their recent off-field travails.

The Bluebirds have made unwanted headlines in recent weeks with the removal of Iain Moody as manager Malky Mackay's head of recruitment, and his acting replacement with 23-year-old Alisher Apsalyamov, who has no known football experience.

There have also been reports that owner Vincent Tan has attempted to influence on-field tactics, and completed the signing of Slovenian striker Etien Velikonja in 2012 without Mackay's approval.

Laudrup, a veteran of El Clasico and Turin showdowns, said: "I don't think I am the one capable of answering what is happening off the pitch at Cardiff.

"There can be a lot of things going on but for the game you park everything and play the game to try and win, which is much more important than what happens off the pitch.

"A win, then it is perfect. It's the same all over, whether you are in Wales, Denmark, Holland or Spain, the feelings and emotions always make it something different.

"There's no difference in each country, especially before the game. Afterwards you have the winner where you can be on top for a week.

"During the game it will be very tight, the atmosphere of the stadium is something different for a derby, but it's still a football game where you have to try and win it and analyse the opponent what you have to do, in particular what you have to do tactically. But the build-up to the game is special."

Watch the South Wales derby live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 3.30pm on Sunday.

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