Vorm aiming for Euro progress
20th February 2014
Michel Vorm insists the squad is ready to draw on the experiences of last season's cup heroics as they prepare for a Europa League showdown with Napoli.
The Swans welcome the Italian side to the Liberty Stadium this evening for the first leg of their last 32 tie.
Napoli, third in Serie A under the guidance of former Chelsea and Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, boast an impressive squad with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Pepe Reina and Gokhan Inler within their ranks.
Higuain himself has been impressive since arriving from Real Madrid last summer, and scored four goals in Napoli's Champions League campaign this season.
The Swans, however, have good form against Benitez after they knocked his Chelsea side out of last season's Capital One Cup at the semi-final stage.
That victory led to a date at Wembley as Swansea secured the club's first major trophy in their history, and Vorm knows that he and his team-mates can use that experience to their advantage ahead of two tough games against Napoli.
"If you look back at the last few years and where we have come from, to be in the last 32 of the Europa League and face a team like Napoli, is amazing really," he said.
"These are the games that you play football for - and it is chance for the players to again show what they are capable of because we are not afraid of playing the big teams.
"We have already come up against teams in our own league that have played in the Champions League. We always seem to play well against them and we have beaten most of them, both home and away.
"It's not like we are playing against a side that is unbeatable - but we know it is going to be tough.
"As long as we play our own game with our own style, then we are more the capable of beating them, and I think we can certainly use the experience of cup games from last year.
"They are the favourites but I think it will be a great game."
Swansea booked their place in the knockout phase of the competition after finishing second in their group behind Valencia.
Napoli, meanwhile, began their European campaign in this season's Champions League alongside Arsenal, Marseille and Borussia Dortmund.
But despite amassing a credible 12 points in their group, the Naples outfit were eliminated on goal difference - thus leaving them to enter the Europa League.
And Vorm insists the squad are under no illusions about how tough a tie it is going to be against Rafa Benitez's men.
"In the last few years Napoli have done really well," said the Dutchman. "This season they are challenging for the Scudetto, they have spent a lot of money and have some top, top players within their squad.
"If you get 12 points in your Champions League group and don't qualify, that's quite unbelievable really.
"But they have already shown what they are capable of this season. They may not view the Europa League as big a competition as the Champions League but in Italy this year they have been very good and I'm sure they will want to show us as well."
The Swans have produced some impressive performances of late under head coach Garry Monk, winning a thrilling derby against Cardiff in the Premier League before earning an excellent point against just four days later.
And despite an FA Cup exit at the hands of Everton last Sunday, Vorm has been impressed with the character shown by the squad in recent weeks.
"It's something that you need to do, especially in the Premier League," he said. "Against sides like Stoke, and Cardiff as well, you have to work hard for ninety minutes.
"Stoke is one of the hardest games, and big teams have gone there and lost this season. But we went and showed our character, as well as our own style of play, created chances and it was very positive."
Vorm himself has had to endure an up and down season so far, making 20 appearances to date after struggling with a knee injury.
The Dutch international was ruled out for two months over Christmas and New Year to undergo surgery.
But after returning to the starting line-up for that memorable South Wales derby victory over Cardiff at the Liberty, Vorm produced another solid display in the draw at the Britannia Stadium.
And ahead of this summer's World Cup, Vorm was understandable delighted to be back in first-team action.
"I've played two games in quick succession, without a reaction, so I feel good," he said.
"I just hope to stay fit until the end of the season and make sure I'm doing well for Swansea ready for the World Cup in Brazil.
"If I can choose to be out for any period then it would be these last few months rather than towards the end of the season.
"It's never good to be injured but I'm fit now and hopefully I can maintain that between now and the end of the season."