18:43 31st July 2013
. . . players are raring to get Europa adventure underway
Angel Rangel has revealed the buzz of excitement within the Swans squad as they kick-off their Europa League adventure against Malmo on Wednesday night (7.45pm).
Michael Laudrup’s side take on the Swedish outfit in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie at the Liberty Stadium.
For many of the squad it is a trip into the unknown with only a few players have featured in continental competition.
And Rangel believes the players are as excited as the fans as European football comes to the Liberty for the first time.
“We are aware that the club hasn’t played in Europe for 22 years, so the fans can’t wait until the game,” said the Spaniard.
“You can see everyone is excited, and that is the same within the squad. We are all looking forward to getting the game underway and experiencing Europa League football. It’s all new to a lot of us.
“Every game in the Europa League is a special occasion. It will be a great experience.”
The Swans face a Malmo outfit that saw off Scottish club Hibernian 9-0 on aggregate in the last qualifying round, with Rikard Norling’s side running riot 7-0 in the return leg at Easter Road.
And Rangel admits the threat Malmo showed in Edinburgh proves it will be a tricky tie for the Swans.
“To win 7-0 away shows they are solid from both ends,” added the 30-year-old.
“We will see what type of tempo they play with and then try to adapt quickly.
“They are sharp at the moment.”
The Swans go into the game on the back of a pre-season schedule which saw them win all seven games – the most recent a 3-0 win at Championship side Reading.
And Rangel feels Laudrup’s squad, which has been boosted by a number of summer signings, are fit and raring to go.
“I think the squad is getting better all the time - we are a more balanced team this season,” he added.
“Defensively the team is looking solid and we believe in ourselves.
“This pre-season has worked well. Everyone is looking so fit and there is healthy competition in the squad.
“They (fans) will see the hard work and commitment. We are just raring to go.”