Jazz: Exciting times ahead

10th August 2013

Jazz Richards insists the squad are looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead after the Swans booked their place in the next stage of the Europa League.

Michael Laudrup's side drew 0-0 with Malmo at the Swedbank Stadion on Thursday, meaning the Swans went through 4-0 on aggregate.

They now face Romanian side FC Petrolul Ploiesti in the play-off round as the Swans bid to reach the group stages of the competition.

And Richards insists there is real excitement amongst the squad as they look to make their mark in Europe for the first time in 22 years.

"I think we showed the right attitude," he said. "You have seen in the past that teams can overturn deficits from the first leg because an early goal can suddenly lead to two, and then you are on the back foot.

"It wasn't our best performance but all the players put in a shift and showed that we can play at this level.

"A few of us have played international football and travelled to different countries, but we've never done that with Swansea City before.

"It is a new experience for a lot of the squad and one we are all really excited about."

Richards was one of seven changes made by Michael Laudrup for Thursday's second leg in Sweden, following a 4-0 win at the Liberty seven days earlier.

The Wales international spent the second half of last season on loan at Championship side Crystal Palace as the Eagles won promotion to the Premier League.

And with the Swans competing on four fronts this season, Richards believes having a strong squad is going to be crucial.

"To come back this summer after being on loan and playing in these games is a great feeling," he said. "We have got a strong squad here now. You have only got to look at the bench to see the strength that we have, and it is going to be interesting once the season starts."