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Swansea V Norwich at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview
Published : 07 Dec 2012 16:31:22
Swansea V Norwich - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Davies: Swansea focused on survival still
Full-back Ben Davies insists Premier League survival remains the priority for high-flying Swansea as they prepare to host Norwich at the Liberty Stadium.
The stunning 2-0 win at Arsenal last weekend has moved them up to seventh in the table and extended their recent good run to one defeat in 10 games.
Some supporters are even beginning to dream of European qualification, something which seemed unlikely when a poor run in September led to reports of dressing room unrest.
But Norwich are on their own fine run of form and are unbeaten in nine as they pick up steam following a slow start under boss Chris Hughton.
Davies, 19, says the fact the Canaries have enjoyed a sequence every bit as good as Swansea's means there is no chance of the visitors being under-estimated.
The Wales international has made it clear the home side's focus is on getting to 40 points as soon as possible, despite their excellent sequence of results.
"The confidence is very high in the group at the moment and that's just down to the way we're playing," he said.
"Some of the results we've got have been a massive boost, especially after beating West Brom and Arsenal, people are going to start raising their expectations.
"But as a group, our aim is still to reach 40 points and to stay in the league. The earlier we reach that, the further we can try to progress.
"I think it will be a difficult game against Norwich.
"We won't be taking it lightly and, as long as we can keep it solid at the back, I think we've got the quality up front to get goals."
The season has been a remarkable experience for teenager Davies, who joined Swansea's academy at the age of eight.
Davies had been expecting to play for the Under-21 side this season and hoping to push his way into manager Michael Laudrup's plans.
But the impression he made on the pre-season tour of the United States caught his manager's eye and he was included in the first-team squad.
Neil Taylor's broken ankle then thrust Davies into the starting line-up for club and country and he admits the last few months have been something of a whirlwind.
"It was disappointing to see Neil get injured, he's a good lad and it was horrible to see him get that injury," he said.
"But I didn't have time to worry about that. I was just thrust in and had to get my head on the game.
"There was no real anticipation of what was coming - I just had to get on the field and do my best and Michael Laudrup has put his faith in me to keep me in the team.
"It's kind of happened at a good time that I got my opportunity, when the club was at the highest level it could be.
"You've just got to do as well you can in every game that comes, and show what you can do."
Laudrup will not rush Michel Vorm and Pablo Hernandez back into his starting line-up.
Goalkeeper Vorm is back in training following a groin injury but is not ready to return to first-team action while Hernandez is still struggling with a thigh problem.
Wayne Routledge could return from an ankle knock which may see top scorer Michu again moved up front.
Hughton knows Norwich will have their work cut out to stop Swansea's exciting brand of football when they aim to go 10 games unbeaten.
The Canaries have flown up the Barclays Premier League table since the October international break, beating Arsenal and Manchester United at home as well as securing a place in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.
However, Hughton knows that impressive form will be put to a severe test against Laudrup's side.
"There was a very good platform for Laudrup when he took over but he has tweaked the formation and brought in some very good players," Hughton told a press conference.
"I have been very impressed, not just with the run they are on, but also with the style they are playing which is an exciting brand of football, as well as anybody in this division.
"There have been no fluke results, they have earned them. It is not about one player, it is about the quality they have got.
"At this moment they are doing very well and all look real good [summer] purchases, particularly Michu, who is scoring the goals.
"We will have to make sure we are as resilient as possible but also have a threat ourselves."
Sebastien Bassong will be fit having hurt his knee during the 2-1 win over Sunderland last Sunday but fellow defender Michael Turner (shoulder) and on-loan striker Harry Kane (metatarsal) are missing.