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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Cup kings Swansea can keep star names

FanZone's Swansea blogger Sion Cleaver thinks their League Cup success will secure the services of some of their star men for another season.

Last Updated: 27/02/13 at 10:23 Post Comment

Michu: Scored his 19th of the season against Bradford

Michu: Scored his 19th of the season against Bradford

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Some might have said Sunday's Wembley showpiece was over before kick-off. After all, Swansea were a whole four divisions above fellow Capital One Cup finalists Bradford.

But, anything can happen in football, everybody knows that, especially when it comes to cup games.

The luck of the cup was not on Bradford's side, they looked fatigued and stunned by the occasion from the get-go. Bradford's first corner of the game came after 85 minutes, their first shot on target arrived in the 88th.

Swansea enjoyed 75% possession during the whole first half, and despite the underdogs grabbing back a bit more possession after the restart, an early second-half goal for Michael Laudrup's Swans sealed the game in the Welsh club's favour with almost 45 minutes still to run.

Bradford were poor for the most part, but on the other hand, Swansea were astounding throughout the whole occasion, heck, they were almost unplayable at times.

All the worrying weaknesses and defensive frailties exposed in the Liberty Stadium outfit's 5-0 drubbing at Liverpool a week earlier were fully corrected in time for the Swans' visit to Wembley.

Laudrup's line-up was a bit of a shock to start with, but it worked a treat. Ki Sung-Yeung made a surprise move from his usual midfield role to a defensive-midfield position. Michu stayed up front with Nathan Dyer roaming. Ben Davies was allowed to make a surprise Cup final start.

Relegation for Laudrup's men, although mathematically still possible, is completely out of the question. Breaking into the top four is looking hugely unlikely - but with only five points separating Swansea in ninth to Everton in sixth, the Swans surely must fancy their chances of nicking a sixth place finish come May. After all, the higher a team finishes in the Premier League, the bigger the prize money.

The remainder of Swansea's season may be risk-free now, with a spot in Europe already sealed, and a comfortable mid-table finish almost guaranteed. The Swans have been one of the Premier League's surprise outfits this campaign, with the Jacks quickly becoming the neutral's favourite thanks to their slick-passing style of play, but all this admiration will inevitably lead to more interest in the summer transfer window.

Michu has gone from a near unknown player to almost a household name since joining Swansea from Rayo Vallecano in August 2012 and the interest will only intensify during the summer window.

The same will surely go for Swansea veteran Leon Britton and star striker Nathan Dyer, both have proved themselves at every level they've played with the Swans, making them ideal targets for rival top-flight and European clubs in the transfer window.

The promise of Europa League football next season might just be the key to retaining the majority of Swansea's players in the summer, however it may have proven harder to do if they hadn't won the Cup final and snatched a European spot on Sunday.

By Sion Cleaver, FanZone's Swansea City blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @SionCleaver - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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