sport

Britton focused on Stoke game

Leon Britton says Swansea's Premier League clash with Stoke is more important than the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea.

The Swans went out of the FA Cup when they lost a third-round replay 1-0 at Arsenal, the south Wales side's stubborn resistance finally broken by a fine late strike from Jack Wilshere.

With a hectic schedule, manager Michael Laudrup defended making half-a-dozen changes, starting in-form Spanish striker Michu on the bench.

Britton insists before attention can start to shift towards dreams of a day out at Wembley - they protect a two-goal advantage against the Blues next Wednesday - everyone must be fully focused on delivering the required performance at home to Stoke this weekend as the Swans look to stay clear of the battle for top-flight survival.

"We have a really busy schedule, with the games against Chelsea and the league fixtures, along with this replay. Maybe it is not the worst thing to go out of the FA Cup, because it will give us a free weekend from a game, then after we have Sunderland away and West Ham away. We have still got a lot of fixtures coming up," the midfielder said.

"The big one is Stoke on Saturday - we cannot look too far ahead. The league is still so important for us.

"I know we are on 30 points and doing well, but if you take your eye off the ball, we will start coming a cropper and start to look over our shoulders.

"We will take a couple of days to recover now and get ready for Stoke.

"Hopefully we can get a positive result, then we can look towards Chelsea and go from there."

Britton added: "We want to get to 40 points as quickly as possible. Hopefully when we have reached that, we can look at other targets.

"We will try to do well against Chelsea and try to get to the Capital One Cup final, which would be great for everyone in the city."

Britton skippered the side on Wednesday, and was given the runaround in midfield up against Wilshere, whose goal four-minutes from time capped an all-action display.

It has been an impressive return from more than a year on the sidelines by the England midfielder.

Britton feels the best is yet to come from the 21-year-old.

"We all know Wilshere is a talented player, he showed that in abundance," he said.

"It is hard when you are chasing him because he does not stop running with the ball.

"For a player so young, he has so much ability and will have a great career."

Swans boss Laudrup can appreciate Wilshere's talents, but feels England's next great hope must be allowed to develop naturally.

"Sometimes people are a little too fast, too quick with the big words. We have to let them grow as young players can improve," said the former Denmark international, who starred for Juventus and Barcelona during his playing days.

"Wilshere has a lot of potential and can be a very, very good player.

"He has to improve, and don't put that pressure on him - that he has to be a superstar already in a few months."

Laudrup will not let his side dwell on their FA Cup disappointment.

"We just have to continue," he said.

"We will have had a long trip back and on Saturday we play Stoke at home.

"Then we play Chelsea on Wednesday in a game that the whole of Swansea is thinking about."