Swans beating Laudrup's expectations

Michael Laudrup
Laudrup has impressed since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in the summer. Photo: PA

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has delivered a positive half-term report for his side - and he signed it off with a call for more of the same.

With 25 points and a positive goal difference, Swansea are ahead of where Laudrup thought they would be 19 games into his first season in charge.

Despite being frustrated to have left the Madejski Stadium on Boxing Day with a single point from a goalless draw with Reading, Swansea are five points better off than they were this time last season.

On top of that, Swansea face Chelsea in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup for a place at Wembley.

"Halfway through the season is a moment to stop and think about what we have achieved. The numbers are there," Laudrup said.

"We have 25 points. We have a plus four goal difference and we have one of the top scorers in the league (in Michu).

"I think we can be very pleased. Twenty-five points is more than I thought we would have at this stage, given half the starting XI have been new players to the club who have had to adapt.

"It is great to have 25 points halfway through the league and we are also in a semi-final for the first time in some years and that is fantastic as well."

With Swansea launching the second half of their league campaign against Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday, Laudrup has reset the goals for his side.

Swansea face four games in the first 12 days of January, including Arsenal in the FA Cup and the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

"We have so many games between now and the beginning of February, we don't have time to stop and think how well we have done," Laudrup said.

"If you double our current points tally, that is 50. We will not necessarily reach that but the important thing for us first is to reach the magic number of 40 points the sooner the better.

"When we reach 40, then we will be able to see how many games are left and set our target for the rest of the season."

Laudrup dismissed speculation linking Swansea with a move for the Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa.

"There have been a lot of rumours, but the only Villa coming to Swansea is Aston Villa," Laudrup said.

"He is a fantastic player, but unfortunately I don't think he will be coming to Swansea. I have not spoken to anyone but I think he will stay at Barcelona."

Swansea were left with an anxious wait on the fitness of Michu after he limped off at the Madejski Stadium with an ankle injury.

The early indications from Swansea's medics were that Michu had not suffered ligament damage but they were expecting to know more today.

Michu has had a lot of swelling around his ankle and is doubtful to play against Fulham.