Michael Laudrup is relishing this week’s two friendlies as he starts to plan ahead for the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
The Swans welcome Blackpool to the Liberty tomorrow (7pm) before entertaining Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart on Saturday (3pm).
Then all eyes will be on Loftus Road on August 18 as Laudrup’s men begin their second campaign in the top-flight against Queens Park Rangers.
“The games against Blackpool and Stuttgart will give us a chance to come up against the quality that we will expect in the Premier League in terms of competitiveness,” he said.
“Blackpool were close to promotion last year and will be in and around the top spots again this year, and Stuttgart are a very good side as well so it will be a good test for us.
“Our home form is crucial and we have to be strong here because that is where we need to get the most points this season.
“Even though they are only friendlies, football is all about winning so it is important that we put everything into it.”
The squad returned from their pre-season tour of America earlier this week after games against Ventura Fusion and MLS clubs Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes.
And the boss admitted that he had learnt a lot from the trip as he gets to know his players ahead of the start of the new season.
“I didn’t know a lot of the players that well,” said Laudrup. “It’s very different when you see players live compared to on the television, but everyone had a chance to play and I’m now much wiser and I know more than I did three weeks ago.
“In the first two games the players played 45 minutes each, and then a lot of them played between 60 and 75 minutes in our final game.”
As is to be expected at this stage of pre-season, transfer speculation is rife amongst the Premier League clubs, and the Swans are no different.
But with rumours of Joe Allen interesting Liverpool, Laudrup was quick to highlight the importance of speaking to the Wales midfielder before outlining his own transfer plans.
“Joe came back today,” he said. “He didn’t train but he came down to the training ground and I will be sitting down with him soon to discuss everything so it doesn’t drag on.
“At this moment in time there isn’t a situation, but he will be training on Wednesday and if he, Scott and Neil Taylor are ready then they will play on Saturday.
“It’s important to be honest with the players. We are here to help them as well and I will do my best to help them find other clubs or if they wanted to move to another country.
“But I also imagine that a few players will be leaving and in my head I have another two players who I would like to bring in for two different positions.”
You can see the press conference in full on Swans Player