Laudrup backs Vazquez to shine
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup has backed Alvaro Vazquez to fill the void left by injuries to Wilfried Bony and Michu as his side prepare to face Newcastle.
The 22-year-old, on loan from Getafe, has yet to break his duck for the Swans in 11 appearances and 379 minutes, but has been shouldered with the goalscoring responsibility with Laudrup's two principal attacking threats on the sidelines.
Michu is close to a return from an ankle injury but will not be available to face the Magpies on Wednesday, while Bony is out for another 10 days, considerably less than initially feared, with a hamstring tear.
Between them, the Spaniard and the Ivorian have scored 16 goals this term, highlighting their importance to the Welsh club's cause.
But Laudrup believes Vazquez, who played his first full 90 minutes for the club in the weekend defeat to Manchester City, is showing signs he can handle the responsibility.
"He got close against Valencia," said the Dane. "He had one saved on the line and one legal goal which was not given. I'm pleased with his performances in the two games and I think he will do the same again on Wednesday.
"Sometimes in the moments where you do have injury problems the other players give a little extra, and that's what has happened here as well.
"So I have a lot of confidence in the players I have available even without Michu and Bony."
But Laudrup admits he is pleased that Bony, who he initially said would be out for several weeks, and Angel Rangel (calf) will not be out for as long as first thought.
He said: "It's always good to hear when players aren't out for as long as you thought they would. As a manager you always want as many players available as possible but injuries are a part of football as it is a contact sport."
The Swans have won just one home league game since the last time Newcastle visited the Liberty Stadium on March 1 but Laudrup insists he does not care where their points come from.
He said: "I don't know if it matters so much if we win at home or away. It is true it is strange a team like us, who should get the majority of our points at home, have won more games away. But points are points.
"Now we have two home games and of course we hope we can get points here like the last time we had two consecutive home games, against Sunderland and West Ham.
"We got four then and we would like at least four this time to move from 15 to 19 points."
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has no fresh injury problems ahead of the clash.
Indeed, Pardew has the likes of Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Cisse, who did not make the starting line-up for Saturday's 2-1 home win over West Brom, desperate to force their way into contention.
In addition, Massadio Haidara, Paul Dummett, Gael Bigirimana, Gabriel Obertan, Sylvain Marveaux and Sammy Ameobi all started Monday afternoon's 1-1 Under-21s' draw with Chelsea as they push for senior involvement.