• Premier League

Swansea boss Laudrup welcomes Cardiff promotion

ESPN staff
April 18, 2013
Michael Laudrup has compared the rivalry to Lazio against Roma in Italy © PA Photos

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has welcomed Welsh rivals Cardiff to the Premier League but resisted looking ahead to next season when he feels there is still work to do in the current campaign.

Laudrup, who has already won the Capital One Cup in his first season at the Liberty Stadium, instead remains focused on ensuring Swansea finish in the top half of the table, starting with a win against in-form Southampton on Saturday.

"For Welsh football to have two teams in the Premier League is a great achievement, I know for the fans they will be two very interesting games, but that is next season," he said.

"We still have to keep our eyes on this season, we still have six games to go and if we take this game against Southampton, it's a key game. If we want to stay in the top ten - and I say stay because we have been in the top ten for many weeks - we need a win on Saturday, especially when you look at the games coming up, including games against all the top three."

The derby games between fierce rivals Swansea and Cardiff will be a highlight of the next Premier League campaign and Laudrup, having never experienced one, is looking forward to the occasion already.

"I've never been involved in a south Wales derby, but I have heard a lot since I came last summer," he said. "There are a lot of big derbies in the world and I played in a lot of them, they all are a little different.

"For Barcelona against Real Madrid there are over 400 miles between the cities, but El Clasico is one of biggest games in the world. But from what I've heard, you can compare Swansea against Cardiff to Lazio and Roma, where I played in five or six really heavy games.

"They were clubs in the same city, with big crowds and lots of temperament, they were huge games."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.