Laudrup targets magnificent seven
Michael Laudrup has warned his Swansea side they have seven Barclays Premier League games to turn around their season and avoid being involved in a relegation dogfight.
Following last weekend's defeat at Manchester United, the Swans sit just three points above the relegation zone as they look towards Sunday's Liberty Stadium meeting with Tottenham.
"It is so tight from our point of view and it depends on what do in the next seven league games," said the Swansea boss.
"In the next month and a half, from the game on Sunday until the Crystal Palace game (in March), we have four games at home and lots of games against opponents who are also in the bottom half of the table.
"This next month and a half is crucial to the rest of the season. If we come out of it well, things will be looking very good, if not we will have to admit we will be in a relegation battle for the rest of the season."
But Laudrup believes his side will only get stronger if they can find the means to turn around a difficult run of form which has seen them fail to record a Premier League win in their last seven matches.
He said: "What is important for Swansea, a club that has been progressing so long, is that when you play at the highest level, whether you are going for the title, Champions League or relegation, there will be moments where things are difficult and you have to suffer.
"That is life at the top. You learn more in difficult moments than good, because it is always easy to be friends and pat each other on the back when you win.
"But to get back to winning after losing is a fantastic feeling.
"If Swansea want to stay in the Premier League for the next 20 years there will be many years where you suffer, you have to be prepared for that."
Swansea's recent form has not been helped by a string of injuries.
Although Dwight Tiendalli and Roland Lamah are back in contention against Spurs, Jonathan de Guzman, Pablo Hernandez, Nathan Dyer, Michu and Michel Vorm remain sidelined.
Tottenham midfielder Sandro could make his return from a one-month calf injury lay-off.
Winger Andros Townsend came through an Under-21 game against Newcastle unscathed on Tuesday and could feature at the Liberty Stadium.
Defenders Jan Vertonghen (ankle) and Younes Kaboul (thigh) are back in training but will not be risked, while Paulinho remains sidelined with an ankle injury.
Boss Tim Sherwood is prepared to allow some of his fringe players to leave this month.
Sherwood inherited a bloated squad when he took over from Andre Villas-Boas in December. The Portuguese went on a vast summer spending spree last year, parting with over B#100million to bring in seven new signings with Gareth Bale leaving for a world-record transfer fee.
Some of them - principally Paulinho and Christian Eriksen - have been successes, but the likes of Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue and January signing Lewis Holtby have found their first-team starts hard to come by under Sherwood.
Sherwood admits he has grown attached to the squad since his promotion to head coach, but the 44-year-old has also developed a ruthless streak as he knows his future at Spurs is likely to depend on whether he is a success or failure this term.
"Yes, absolutely," the Tottenham manager said when asked if he was willing to let players go.
"As long as they're the players I don't want to take us forwards, then I'm happy (to sell them)."