16:49 9th August 2013
. . . Morten looks ahead to Play-Off test against Petrolul Ploiesti
Assistant Manager Morten Wieghorst admits the Swans are venturing into the unknown in the Europa League Play-Offs but underlined the club’s determination to reach the Group Stages of the tournament.
The Swans were today drawn alongside Romanian cup winners Petrolul Ploiesti after Michael Laudrup’s side saw off Swedish outfit Malmo in Sweden on Thursday night.
Petrolul came through a tough test with Swans striker Wilfried Bony’s former club Vitesse Arnhem, as they won the second leg 2-1 in Holland to take the tie overall 3-2.
The first leg will be held at the Liberty Stadium on Thursday, August 22 with the return leg at the 15-000-capacity Ilie Oana stadium in Ploiesti.
And while Wieghorst concedes the Swans have little information on their opponents at present, he insists they will be up to speed by the time the first leg arrives.
“I don’t know too much about this Romanian team, but I know Romanian football develops technically gifted players,” said Wieghorst. “I have played against Romanian national teams in the past and they were good sides.
“Petrolul are cup winners from last season, and we will have them watched and analysed so that we are ready for the games.
“We are at home first, and there are always pros and cons regarding playing at home in the first leg, but we will do everything we can to progress to the Group stages.”
Petrolul are managed by former Romanian international Cosmin Contra, who played under Laudrup while at Getafe in La Liga.
And Wieghorst is also very familiar with the defender, having played against him during his career.
“He used to play for the manager when they were in Spain at Getafe,” Wieghorst recalled. “He was a steady, reliable player who was in the team that reached the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup with Getafe.
“It’s interesting that the managers know each other quite well, but both will be doing everything they can to ensure their sides progress.”