14:29 19th July 2013
. . . no long-haul Europa trip for Swans
Swans boss Michael Laudrup expressed his relief at today’s Europa League third round qualifying draw.
The Swans will play the winners of the Malmo (Sweden) or Hibernian (Scotland) tie on August 1 at the Liberty Stadium, with the return leg on August 8.
Malmo are currently 2-0 up from the first-leg.
Laudrup feared the Swans would be left with a long trip to Eastern Europe, but was happy with the prospect of a much shorter journey to Sweden or Scotland.
“I’m pleased with the draw,’’ declared Laudrup. “It was important for me that we avoided a long trip and the prospect of difficult weather conditions. 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.’’
Having won the first-leg 2-0, Malmo are in the driving seat for the return in Scotland on Thursday.
“Malmo is a huge club in Sweden with a proven record and proud history,’’ added Laudrup. “But I’m sure Hibernian will be in there fighting until the end.’’
If Hibs can pull back the two-goal deficit, then the Swans will face former midfielder Owain Tudur Jones who joined the Scottish Premier League club in the summer.
“I’m sure OTJ will be relishing that one,’’ joked Swans club captain Garry Monk.
He added: “Whoever we drew would have been be difficult, but at least geographically it is one of the better ones. We are all looking forward to it.’’