Patience is key, says Morten

1st August 2013

Swansea City end their 22-year wait for European football tonight, with assistant manager Morten Wieghorst insisting a patient approach could be the key to success.

Swedish side Malmo become the first visiting side to play at the Liberty Stadium in a Europa League fixture as the city of Swansea hosts its first continental fixture since Monaco ran out at the Vetch Field in 1991.

Malmo, who are midway through their own domestic league ran riot in the previous round, winning 7-0 at Hibernian in the second leg to take the tie 9-0 on aggregate.

It sets up an intriguing contest as the Swans look to progress from the third qualifying round into the Play-Off stage.

And Wieghorst, who has played in European competitions for Celtic along with the World Cup for Denmark, feels the Swans will need to be cautious as they look to take a good result into the return leg in Malmo next Thursday.

"Malmo are a hard-working side that are well organised, and they showed against Hibs that if they are given space then they can be very dangerous," said the 42-year-old.

"Away goals are very important in these ties, but what you have to realise when you are in Europe is that the game is over two legs.

"You can't think you will finish the job in the first leg, or that you have no chance after the first leg. It would be nice to get a good result at the Liberty, but the job won't be complete until we play out there.

"They are midway through their season so they will not be easy to break down. They will be fit all around the pitch.

"Even though we are at home in the first leg, we can't go charging forward and leaving ourselves exposed. We have to be patient.

"We have got players who can move the ball around quickly and play at a tempo that can cause them problems, while at the same time keeping them under pressure for longer spells than Hibs did."

The Swans' preparations have gone perfectly for the start of their 2013-14 campaign.

Michael Laudrup's side have won all seven of their pre-season friendlies, which included a tour of Holland.

Last weekend's 3-0 win over Championship side Reading rounded off the preparations, which also saw club record signing Wilfried Bony make his first start since arriving from Vitesse Arnhem.

And Wieghorst insisted everyone is raring to go ahead of kick-off tonight.

"Everyone is very excited for this game," he added.

"Things have been going well. The boys have worked very hard, the new lads have settled in, we have scored a lot of goals and just conceded one.

"Even though they are only friendlies, they are still important.

"They have prepared us for this game, and I think we have taken a lot from the seven games.

"But now it's onto the serious competition, and we are raring to go."

He added: "We got to see Wilfried play from the start at Reading, and you could tell from that performance he's a good player. He works hard and has strength - he will have no trouble with that aspect of the British game.

"He can link up to bring other players into play as well as scoring goals.

"He gives us more power and he also gives us the option of playing Michu in the offensive midfielder role.

"You can tell in spells against Reading when we used Bony in our build-up play he can bring another dimension to other players as well.

"So we are looking forward to seeing the impact he can make not only for us in Europe but the domestic competitions too."