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JACK HAILS JACKS

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 18, 2013

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ARSENAL star Jack Wilshere has hailed Swansea City as a "great team" — and believes they will be a Premier League club for years to come.

The England international midfielder struck a late winner as the Gunners beat Swansea 1-0 in their FA Cup third round replay at the Emirates on Wednesday night.

Arsenal's victory offered a semblance of revenge for last month's 2-0 home defeat by Swansea in the Premier League, but Michael Laudrup's men frustrated the hosts for long periods.

They seemed set to force extra time after withstanding torrential Arsenal pressure, and the game's standout player Wilshere was relieved to settle the tie with his 86th-minute goal.

"Swansea is always a tough game. They're a great team and they'll be in the Premier League for years to come," he said.

"They play good football and I think that's the way football is going. They like to keep the ball and play it out from the back. We always know it's going to be a tough game. I thought we applied ourselves excellently and got the result in the end."

With a Premier League match at home to Stoke tomorrow and the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final against Chelsea to come on Wednesday, the FA Cup tie at Arsenal was not a top priority for Swansea.

They demonstrated as much by making six changes from the side which drew 0-0 with Everton last weekend but, by contrast, the third-round replay was a game the Gunners were desperate to win.

"We want this cup — it's a big cup," Wilshere added. "We've won the FA Cup in the past and it was the last cup we won, so we know how much it means for the fans to get a trophy.

"We all know what Swansea bring — they play good football, so we pressed them high up the pitch.

"We created a lot of chances and it didn't look like it was going to happen right up until the end, so it could have been a frustrating evening but we got the goal and we're delighted to be in the next round. We all needed to show a bit of character. We'd had a hard game on Sunday (the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City) and we knew we had to get a result against Swansea.

"It was a must-win game for us."

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