Laudrup eager to begin League Cup defence

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has challenged his side to win the League Cup again, as they prepare to begin their defence of the trophy at Birmingham City on Wednesday.

The south Wales club ended a 101-year wait for major silverware last season when they overwhelmed fourth-tier Bradford City 5-0 in the final at Wembley Stadium.

That victory opened the door to the Europa League, in which Laudrup's side recorded a memorable 3-0 win at Valencia in their opening group game last week.

It also means that Swansea face a busy season, but Laudrup says they will not be taking their defence of the League Cup lightly.

"It's the first game of our cup defence and I think we all still remember last season, so for us it is something special," said the Dane.

"Everybody still remembers the feeling of standing there with the trophy after winning against Bradford, and maybe as much the two semi-final legs against Chelsea or the win at Liverpool.

"We know the cup competitions are possibilities for smaller clubs to have success. You only need a few wins and you are in the semi-final.

"Last year we needed four wins, this season we come in a stage later so we only need three wins to get to a semi-final. We have to try and do that again."