Pablo Hernandez primed for Valencia
Pablo Hernandez is looking forward to Swansea City’s Europa League trip to Valencia with renewed confidence after helping them break their Premier League duck.
The Spaniard struck the killer second goal at The Hawthorns on Sunday as the Swans climbed off the foot of the table and left their opponents West Bromwich Albion there instead.
Now, he is setting his sights high for when the domestic programme resumes in a week and a half.
"We needed to win this game after two losses and before the international break," the midfielder said. "There was pressure on us to get off the mark.
"Before the game, the manager and team all thought the same, so that was a very important three points.
"It’s not easy for the team or their confidence if we had still had no points from three games.
"This year, it’s more important for me to have regular football because I think I can score more goals this season. This game was important for my confidence. Seven or eight goals would be good for me from midfield."
The victory followed opening defeats at home to Manchester United and at Tottenham and came hard on the heels of the news that Swansea would be travelling to the country of the 28-year-old’s birth later this month.
He was a veteran with Valencia before arriving in the Premier League last summer and will be counting the days off to the tie a fortnight tomorrow.
"It will be really special for me to go back to the Mestalla," he added. "But it’s a special week for us as we also have Liverpool in the Premier League.
"It’s not easy. It’s a difficult stadium but Swansea always play good football against the big teams in England, so why not in Europe?
"The manager there has changed now. Valencia is a family and a big team in Europe. Swansea can finish the group in first place but it won’t be easy. I heard the draw when I was in my car and my father phoned me. I was very happy to hear it.
"It’s a big opportunity for me to play in the Mestalla one more time. I’ll enjoy this game as it’s special for me.
"I have family and friends who live around 60km from Valencia. They are people who go to the Mestalla from there."