Huw Jenkins: Swansea City are ready for Europa League adventure
HUW Jenkins insists Swansea City would relish a crack at the Europa League next season, declaring: “Of course we are ready.”
Swansea will be heading into continental competition for the first time since 1991 if they beat Bradford City in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final.
Swansea have never previously qualified for Europe via the English system.
And though there are some who say a Europa League campaign could hamper Swansea domestically next season, Jenkins is adamant the club would cope.
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Asked if Swansea are geared up for a European adventure, he declared: “Of course we are.
“If we are lucky enough to get that chance, we will try 100 per cent to make a success of it and to enjoy it.
“We will ignore the fact that many other clubs just moan about the Europa League because of the travelling involved and the number of games you have to play.
“I would view getting into the Europa League as a massive opportunity for us.
“If you look back a few years, going into Europe would be far better than where we could have been travelling to if we had ended up driving around the country playing Conference games.”
Boss Michael Laudrup has already spelled out plans to work with a smaller squad next season.
But Swansea would be required to play many more fixtures in 2013-14 if they overcome Bradford this weekend.
Liverpool, for instance, have played 11 Europa League games to date this term having won last year’s League Cup.
Newcastle’s Premier League form has dipped this season after they reached Europe, but Jenkins is bullish about Swansea’s prospects.
“If we can get past Bradford — and we know that we will have to be 100 per cent on our game to do that — it’s something our football club would relish,” the Swansea chairman added.
“If we got into the Europa League, we would take the challenge on and try to compete just as we have done in the Premier League.
“This weekend is a chance for us to keep our club moving forward.
“If we are lucky enough to win the final, it will be a massive boost for us.”
Laudrup’s squad stepped up their preparations for Wembley on the training ground this morning after a couple of days’ recuperation in the wake of their 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool.
Swansea’s major injury concern ahead of the final is Chico Flores, who remains very doubtful with the ankle ligament injury he suffered 11 days ago.