Swansea defender Angel Rangel salutes manager Michael Laudrup

Angel Rangel: Swansea's rock at the back for six years

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Swansea defender Angel Rangel believes Michael Laudrup should be named manager of the year.

The Dane steered the Welsh club to a first major trophy in their 101-year history on Sunday with victory in the Capital One Cup, while they continue to impress in the Premier League where they currently lie in ninth.

It is a remarkable showing for a team working on a budget much lower than many rivals and in complete contrast to the gloomy predictions made by the critics when Laudrup took over from Brendan Rodgers at the Liberty Stadium last summer.

"I would say he 100 per cent deserves to be manager of the year," said the 30-year-old Rangel, who joined the Swans when the club were still in League One in 2007.

"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."

Angel Rangel

"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.

"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."

Beating League Two outfit Bradford 5-0 at Wembley at the weekend earned Swansea a shot in the Europa League next season.

"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," Rangel added.

"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."