Swansea winger Hernandez ready for Europa League challenge

The Swans must qualify for the group stage and the Spanish midfielder feels it is imperative for the club to put in a good showing on the European stage after last year's success
Swansea midfielder Pablo Hernandez has stressed the importance of sealing qualification for the Europa League group stage.

Michael Laudrup's men started their preparations for the new season with a 2-0 over Dutch side Gravenzande on Saturday, with Hernandez scoring the second goal eight minutes from full-time.

The Welsh outfit will compete in the Europa League in 2013-14 after winning the Capital One Cup last season, but will have to win two knock-out ties to qualify for the group stage.

Spaniard Hernandez is eager to get through those challenges and knows how crucial European football is to the club.

"Before the Premier League we start the Europa League, it's important for the club and for the people for us to win these games to enter to the groups in the Europa League," he told the club's official website.

Laudrup has already made a number of new acquisitions for the upcoming season with Jose Canas, Jordi Amat, Alejandro Pozuelo joining their compatriot Hernandez at the Liberty Stadium.

Jonjo Shelvey has been Swansea's sole British purchase of the off-season, but Hernandez feels the quality of the new signings is more important than their nationalities.

"It's important, it's better to win the [pre-season] games, but more important is the work and that the new players play good with the old players", he added.

"I think the old players help the new players, for us it's more important that the new players are happy now and happy in their first games for the team.

"More Spanish boys, for me it is good, but what is important is that these players are good players and is the best for the team."