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Swanseas Cup triumph a new high for Laudrup
Published : 24 Feb 2013 19:16:56Rss feed
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup admitted his side's 5-0 rout of Bradford in the League Cup final on Sunday was one of the greatest achievements of his career.
But, while his achievements as a player earned him legendary status, the former Denmark winger is adamant he took just as much pride from leading Swansea to the first major trophy in the Welsh club's 100-year history.
Nathan Dyer and Jonathan de Guzman both scored twice and Michu was also on target for the Premier League side, who handed fourth tier Bradford the biggest defeat in League Cup final history and left Laudrup saluting his players for their historic achievement.
"I'm very proud of my team today. I think it was a great performance," Laudrup said.
"As a player I had the luck to play in the biggest teams in different countries. Swansea is not the biggest team in the Premier League but we are here winning a trophy and that is fantastic. To win a trophy with a smaller club is outstanding."
Before arriving at Swansea in pre-season, the 48-year-old had only enjoyed limited success during his managerial career with Brondby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Real Mallorca.
But Laudrup, whose previous taste of Wembley glory came with Barcelona in the 1992 European Cup final, has been the ideal fit for Swansea, whose players have responded to his ideas and laid-back nature.
"As a manager it's absolutely at the top, winning a trophy for the first time in 100 years," he said.
"The first trophy is always special, and now next year in Europe... it's a nice experience."
Swansea's triumph also completed a remarkable journey for club captain Garry Monk, who came off the bench in the second half.
Monk has been with Swansea since they were languishing in the fourth-tier and he acknowledged the win was a dream come true for one of the top-flight's less glamorous clubs.
"It has not sunk in, this is what it is all about," Monk said. ""After 10 years of hard work and the long journey we have been on, this is the pinnacle. We have deserved to put a major trophy in the cabinet."
It was fitting that Spanish forward Michu should score one of Swansea's goals after a superb first season in English football.
Signed from Mallorca for just Â£2 million, Michu is undoubtedly the bargin of the campaign and he said: "It was a great performance by the team and I think we deserved this.
"It was good for me too to score a goal. It is a really good season, my first here."
Meanwhile, Bradford manager Phil Parkinson admitted he was frustrated by referee Kevin Friend's decision to send off goalkeeper Matt Duke in the second half for the foul that led to De Guzman scoring from the penalty spot.
"I am disappointed obviously. We were not able to make a game of it but Swansea are an outstanding team," Parkinson said.
"Conceding goals when we did did not help and we had our goalkeeper sent off. I felt the referee could have given him a yellow card. At 3-0 down I felt he could have used his common sense, but then they scored the fourth and that was it."