21:45 6th July 2013
. . . Swans winger happy with goal-scoring tour opener
Winger Pablo Hernandez hailed Swansea City’s Dutch tour opener a big success and perfect preparation towards the new campaign.
Hernandez scored Swansea’s second in a 2-0 win over FC Gravenzande at an impressive Juliana Sportpark complex, with Ki Sung-Yueng opening the scoring before the break with his first goal for the club.
The first of four friendlies during the 10-day tour saw manager Michael Laudrup use all 22 of his touring party with the exception of Michu, who was struggling with a tight quad muscle.
Swansea dominated possession in their usual fluent style and despite the strength-sapping heat, it proved a positive start to the pre-season.
“Considering it was our first game, we enjoyed good possession,” explained Hernandez. “It wasn’t easy because physically we are not perfect; we are not 100 per cent fit.
“It’s always better to win, but more important for us now is the hard work we do to ensure we start next month 100 per cent fit and ready.
“Obviously I am happy to score in the first game, but the goal is secondary to me. It’s the work that comes first.
“We are doing two training sessions a day at the moment, in the morning and afternoon, and the legs are very tired.
“But we all want to work hard and give it 100 per cent so that we are ready for the Premier League on August 17.
“Before that we have the Europa League to deal with. It’s important for the club, the fans and the players for us to win our qualifying games and get into the group stage.
“I think these games in Holland will be good preparation for Europe and the Premier League.’’
The Spaniard, whose superior fitness was clearly evident after winning the traditional pre-season bleep test before jetting out to Holland, looked sharp throughout the second-half.
Laudrup changed the entire team at the break, apart from striker Rory Donnelly who came through the first 70 minutes well.
It meant a first appearance in a Swans shirt for new signings Jonjo Shelvey, goalkeeper Gregor Zabret, Kenji Gorre and Spanish trio Jordi Amat, Jose Canas and Alejander Pozuelo.
“The more Spaniards there are the better for me,’’ joked Hernandez. “But seriously, it doesn’t matter what country they are from; the important thing is that they are good players for the team.
“The main thing is that everyone plays well together. It’s up to the old players to help the new ones settle in during the first few games. It’s up to us to make them happy in their new surroundings.’’