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Swans fear Hughes revenge job

Michael Laudrup believes Mark Hughes will be looking for payback on Sunday after suffering an embarrassing loss the last time he faced Swansea.

Last Updated: 10/11/13 at 09:10 Post Comment   

Swansea: Host Stoke on Sunday

Swansea: Host Stoke on Sunday

When Laudrup and Hughes were last pitted against each other the Dane enjoyed a day to remember as his first game in charge of Swansea ended in a 5-0 thrashing of Hughes' QPR team.

The result set the tone for a miserable campaign for the Rs which ended in relegation. Hughes, meanwhile, was relieved of his duties before the end of November.

Laudrup and Hughes, whose combined number of international appearances for Denmark and Wales is more than the other 18 top-flight managers combined, also crossed paths as players.

On that occasion Hughes came out on top, scoring twice as Manchester United beat Barcelona 2-1 in the 1991 Cup Winners' Cup final, but Laudrup knows it is the debacle at Loftus Road which will be at the forefront of Hughes' thoughts as he looks to end Stoke's seven-match winless run at the Liberty Stadium.

"I played against Mark a few times. The 1991 Cup Winners' Cup final was not a good memory for me because he scored both goals for Manchester United against Barcelona and we lost 2-1," said Laudrup.

"But he didn't mention it when we played against his QPR side, he had other things on his mind. He was a little disappointed after the game. It was a huge result for us and very disappointing for them.

"I don't believe in the word 'revenge' in football, but he'll be looking for payback.

"He thinks about this game in the same way as I do. He wants to get those points to get away from the bottom of the table. It's not so much about the position or the number - it's more about the points.

"The QPR game last season was different. They will really want the points on Sunday because they only have nine points.

"But we are at home and we have to try and get the three points to put us at least five points ahead of the teams at the bottom.

"We've only played 10 games. There are a lot of teams - eight or nine - who are only four or five points apart.

"Stoke are in there so if we can win this game then it will give us even more distance. That's always important, especially when you play at home.

"We have to get the points like we did against Sunderland, like we tried to against West Ham. We got four points from two games so if we can get three here then that would be great."

Laudrup also responded to comments made by Swans chairman Huw Jenkins in an interview prior to last weekend's defeat at Cardiff where he suggested some players and staff do not believe the club can compete with the Premier League elite.

Laudrup has often spoken of the top flight as being split into two groups - the top seven and the rest - but feels his side have proven themselves to be competitive against the division's big guns.

He said: "I think we are competitive in every game. If you see all our games we have been competitive. Our games against Liverpool and Arsenal were very tight games. At Tottenham we lost 1-0 through a penalty only 15 minutes from the end so I think we've been competitive last year and now this year.

"I don't think any of my players ever write off games against big teams. We have a lot of respect for our opponents and we know some of them are great teams with fantastic players.

"Apart from the Manchester United game (where Swansea lost 4-1) they have been very tight games and with a little more luck we could have got something more."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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