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Feb, 20, 2013

Cup final nothing new, Laudrup says

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has told ITV that the Capital One Cup final is "not the most important game in my life".

Swansea head into the first major cup final in their history when they take on League Two side Bradford City at Wembley on Sunday and Laudrup knows it is a massive occasion for his club.

However, having enjoyed a hugely successful playing career with Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Ajax, Laudrup says his excitement is not on the same level.

"I know how important it is to the players, fans, and the club, but it is not the most important game in my life," he said on the ITV website. "Of course it is important, and to me it is very important because I know it matters to everybody else, but I have been there. Even as a manager, I have been in three finals [winning two Danish Cups with Brondby and finishing runners-up in the Copa del Rey with Getafe].

"It's not my way to brag but when you feel you missed out on something it means maybe you feel you lacked something in your career, like maybe you had to retire because you were injured. I tried everything as a player so I don't have that.

"When you are with bigger clubs in the world, you are sometimes a little spoilt. They are used to having the best players and winning trophies, and you can take it for granted, but I know for the smaller clubs like ourselves it is not like that."

Laudrup insists Swansea will not underestimate Bradford - "everyone realises we still have a lot to do," he said - and feels his biggest issue might be calming the players down.

"When you play in big occasions I know that motivation is never a problem," he said. "Sometimes you even have to tell players to take it easy. There will always be a bit of nerves, you always feel it. Every player knows when a game is something special, but after the first couple of minutes it should be a game like any other.

"We all know the build-up to these games is not normal and when you are in a situation for the first time you don't know how to react.

"I played in a lot of finals in my career. I think it was seven or eight and it was fantastic. You get used to playing home or away, but a final is 50/50 and I am pleased the players will get the chance to try something so unique."

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