Head coach hoping to emulate Danish manager's success.
Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet says he is looking forward to taking charge of his first Black Cats game against a Swansea City side managed by his old friend Michael Laudrup.
Poyet played against Laudrup during his time at Zaragoza when the Dane was playing for both Barcelona and Real Madrid whilst he also played with his brother Brian at Chelsea.
And the Uruguayan says he has the utmost respect for Laudrup as both a person and also a manager for the job he has done at the Liberty Stadium.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Poyet said. “First I suffered against him more than play against him because he was outstandingly gifted; he was an incredible football player.
“You can see now that he is trying to impose that quality that he had naturally on his team.
“They did something unique last year for a team like Swansea by winning the cup and being in Europe.
“They keep progressing, it’s a club that is going in the right direction and has been for many years.
“Michael had added something to that team to make them winners and I think it’s always nice to see people like Michael in the football life.”
The former Chelsea and Spurs midfielder has been impressed by the Swans’ rise up the footballing pyramid.
And, though he admits it will take time, he hopes a similar sort of success can be achieved during his time on Wearside.
“That’s the idea, of course, like any manager, we always talk about time,” he added. “I am convinced that if we start getting results and we start getting better then sooner or later we will see a totally different approach.
“I’m sure that the fans are going to really enjoy watching the team.”
Poyet told safc.com that he has benefitted from seeing multiple Swansea games this campaign but he was keen to stress his main focus is on what his players can produce on Saturday.
“We know Swansea have been playing the same kind of football for many, many years now,” the 45-year-old explained.
“They know how to do it, they know how to keep the ball, they are very strong at home but there is plenty of things that we need to look after first.
“Unfortunately, right now we really need to pay attention to ourselves. First we need to start doing the right things; not conceding goals, keeping the ball better, creating chances- winning football games really.”