. . . Gerhard hoping to play his part in Capital One Cup semi-final
Gerhard Tremmel hopes his experience of the knockout stages in a major tournament will prove useful when the Swans head to Chelsea for the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday.
The Swans are targeting a place in a final of a big competition for the first time in the club’s history, with the FA Cup and Champions League holders standing in their way.
Michael Laudrup’s side head to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday before the return leg at the Liberty on Wednesday, January 23.
And Tremmel, who hopes to be involved again after featuring in every round so far for the Swans, believes ending the tie on home soil could be crucial.
He said: “I remember in 2010 when I was at Salzburg, we played Hapoel Tel-Aviv in the Champions League – it was the Play-Offs, with the winner going into the Group Stage.
“The first leg was in Austria, and we had hoped to get a good result to hold onto in Israel, but we lost 3-2 and we had it all to do in the second leg. Itay (Shechter) actually played and scored in that game, which I’m sure he remembers very well.
“Then in the second leg we led 1-0 but would have gone out on away goals so we had to push and push, but that resulted in them getting a goal in added-on time and the game was finished.
“Looking back at that, I think it’s great for us that the second leg is at home because we will have the whole stadium shouting for us to try and get us to the final.
“But we have a lot of hard work ahead of us on Wednesday – we must ensure that we give ourselves a good chance of getting through.”
Tremmel is hoping to get the nod again from Laudrup after the German impressed in the earlier rounds, particularly in the 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield.
The 34-year-old has made 14 appearances in all competitions this season – his latest coming in the 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over Fulham after Christmas.
And he’s relishing the possibility of playing his part in the semi-final opener with the Blues.
“I’ve never been this far in a major competition, and it’s really exciting to see where we are,” added Tremmel.
“I’ve always wanted to play in games like these, and of course there would be a big final if we get through.
“But no-one is thinking about that. Chelsea are a big team and we know what quality they have.
“I thought we performed well in the league and we deserved a draw against them, but now there will be a winner over two legs and we know we have to be at the top of our game.”
Meanwhile, young Swans defender Daniel Alfei has extended his loan at Blue Square Premier side Wrexham.
The 20-year-old right-back, whose loan was due to expire on January 7, has featured eight times for the promotion-chasing Dragons since arriving on a temporary switch in October.
Alfei will now spend until January 25 with Andy Morrell’s side, who currently lie second in the table.
"These extra few days give everyone a little bit of breathing space to decide what the next step will be," said Morrell.
"Danny gives us different options at the back and we would certainly like him to stay for a longer spell.
"It's not always that easy and we will have see what Swansea's thoughts on the matter are, as well as the player, there are many factors which come into play."
The Wales Under-21s international made his senior debut for the Swans against Colchester in the FA Cup in the 2010-11 campaign.
His starring role in the 4-0 success also earned him the man-of-the-match award, and followed that up with a cameo appearance against Crystal Palace seven days later in front of the live Sky cameras.
He made one first team appearance last season in the Carling Cup defeat at Shrewsbury before joining Wrexham on loan and helping them to the play-offs.