Laudrup wary of fatigue factor

Michael Laudrup believes physical and mental fatigue has played a part in Swansea's difficult recent run.

Last Updated: 21/04/13 at 14:00 Post Comment

Michael Laudrup: Sights set on a top-10 finish

Michael Laudrup: Sights set on a top-10 finish

Michael Laudrup believes physical and mental fatigue has played a part in Swansea's difficult recent run.

Saturday's goalless draw against Southampton extended the Swans' winless streak to five games, equalling their longest series without a victory since being promoted to the Barclays Premier League.

Swansea fans are unlikely to complain too loudly after a season which has seen them win the Capital One Cup, and spend all but a handful of weeks inside the top half of the table.

Laudrup has set his sights on making sure a top-10 finish is secured, but the Swans will need to pick up a few more points from a testing run-in - including fixtures against Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea - to achieve that goal.

Despite taking just two points from the last 15, Laudrup has been pleased by the attitude his players have shown.

But the Dane acknowledges the emotional highs experienced during the cup run - as well as reaching the 40-point mark - may be having an effect as the campaign draws to a close.

"Fatigue could be a factor for some players. We cannot exclude that," he said.

"For some players it has been their first year in this team, whether they have come from abroad or from the youth team like Ben Davies.

"Jonathan de Guzman did not play much last season and he has played a lot of games this season, as have Pablo Hernandez and Michu.

"But, as well as the physical side, there is the mental side.

"It is completely normal when you reach your target to relax and not be at as high a level as before, even if you do not mean to.

"It is something I have felt across the whole club. After winning the final and getting to 40 points against Newcastle, everybody took a deep breath.

"Everybody is saying 'what a great season you had', but it should be 'have' not 'had', because we are still playing.

"There are a lot of people in this city who think the season has finished. I don't want that. We have to play to the last game because I want to finish as high as possible.

"The only thing I want is to get the mentality that while what we have done is good, we have to go on."

The lacklustre stalemate at the Liberty Stadium extended Southampton's unbeaten run to six games, and edged Mauricio Pochettino's side closer to Premier League survival.

The Argentinian opted to leave record signing Gaston Ramirez on the bench, despite the Uruguayan getting the goal to earn them a point against West Ham.

And he defended his decision to opt to start Jay Rodriguez in his place.

He said: "I did not see it as something strange. I have to pick a team from my squad. It is my decision who plays.

"Gaston had trained during the week and he was fit. He was prepared to play and he came on, but the decision is down to me.

"The final decisions on my team are always down to me."


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