Rangel backs Laudrup for manager prize

Angel Rangel, pictured, insisted Michael Laudrup had made a 'big difference' to Swansea

Angel Rangel, pictured, insisted Michael Laudrup had made a 'big difference' to Swansea

First published in National Sport © by

Angel Rangel believes Michael Laudrup should be named manager of the year after leading Swansea to the first major silverware of their 101-year history.

Swansea produced a consummate display of attacking football at Wembley to secure a 5-0 win over 10-man Bradford in Sunday's Capital One Cup final at Wembley. Man-of -the-match Nathan Dyer (two), Jonathan de Guzman (two) and Michu got on the scoresheet to the delight of the 33,000 Swans fans who had made the journey to London.

And Rangel is in no doubt Laudrup's achievements deserve to be recognised. He said: "I would say he 100 per cent deserves to be manager of the year. If we stay in the top 10 having won the cup, I think it is just about the best Swansea can achieve and from our point of view he has to be the best."

When Laudrup succeeded Brendan Rodgers at the Liberty Stadium last summer, the doom-mongers were predicting a season-long battle to retain their top-flight status. But the Dane has guided the club into the top half of the Premier League, and to within one win of reaching their survival target of 40 points.

Sunday's unprecedented triumph at Wembley only adds to the lustre of what must rank as the greatest season the club have ever known.

Rangel added: "He has made a big difference, when he came here he knew we could play football, but we lacked the cutting edge to score lots of goals and create chances. We are more aggressive in attack now. We create more chances, we are really comfortable and the team is very balanced."

Rangel, 30, joined Swansea when the club were still in League One, but will get the chance to test himself in European competition next season as their cup success comes with a Europa League spot.

"If you had told me we would be here when I joined six years ago I would not have believed you, but we are getting better and better and we performed brilliantly in this final," he said. "We will have to show we belong in Europe, we have not played there before and maybe we will be a bit naive.

"But we have European players who have played in these competitions before so hopefully we can show we are a good side. It was one of those things I never thought I would get to and now we have a chance and we want to prove ourselves."

Rangel and his team-mates have a bus parade through the streets of the city to look forward to on Tuesday, less than two years after the celebration held in honour of their promotion to the Premier League. He said: "We know the whole country are behind us and we are looking forward to seeing the streets full of fans cheering us on, it will be a great day."

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