My focus will always be the league, admits Huw
HUW Jenkins has urged Swansea City not to lose their Premier League focus as Michael Laudrup's men prepare for a tricky Europa League opener against Malmo or Hibernian.
Jenkins is looking forward to seeing Swansea try their luck in Europe this season, with their third qualifying round, first leg tie to come at the Liberty in just 12 days' time.
But the Swansea chairman has made it abundantly clear that the club's priorities lie elsewhere. "My focus from first to last is the Premier League," Jenkins said.
"We are all delighted to be taking part in a European competition, but we can never forget that our priority has to be the Premier League.
"Other sides have found in the past that it can be difficult to perform on both fronts, and as a football club the main thing for us has to be our league.
"We are happy to be in the Europa League. We will enjoy the experience and try to go as far as we can in the competition. But the fact remains that our future — and our present — as a club is connected to doing well in the Premier League and staying in there."
Malmo, the Swedish league leaders, look most likely to be Swansea's opponents next month as they hold a 2-0 lead over Hibernian following a first leg victory on Thursday night.
But Hibs, who signed Swansea old boy Owain Tudur Jones in the summer, will hope to turn that tie around in the return fixture in Edinburgh next Thursday.
Swansea will have a man at Easter Road to assess their potential opponents, but it is already clear to Laudrup and Co that they have been handed an awkward draw.
"We'll be delighted to play anybody in a European competition because just being involved is great for us," Jenkins added.
"But as I have stressed, ultimately the growth and the future of our club depends on how we do in the Premier League."
Laudrup has expressed his relief that Swansea have avoided a long-haul trip across Europe.
"It was important for me that we avoided a long trip and the prospect of difficult weather conditions," he said.
"Sweden or Scotland is perfect for us geographically.
"We also know the playing styles of both teams, so that is also a positive for us, although I would have preferred to be away in the first leg rather than home. But you can't have everything."
Malmo, European finalists in 1979, have already seen off Irish side Drogheda in Europa League qualifying this summer having finished third in the Swedish top flight last season.
Hibs, meantime, made it into the competition having finished as runners-up in last term's Scottish Cup.
The winners of their tie will come to Swansea on August 1, with the second leg to follow seven days later.