Football - De Guzman focused on league form

Jonathan de Guzman hopes Swansea's two-month break from Europa League action can herald an improvement in their Barclays Premier League form.

PA Sport

The Swans progressed to the last 32 in Europe despite a 1-0 defeat to St Gallen in Switzerland on Thursday, and will find out who they will face next in Monday's draw.

In the meantime, the Welsh club resume Premier League action against Norwich on Sunday.

While the depth of Michael Laudrup's squad has been tested by the demands of European competition, Swansea currently hold a place in the top half of the table.

And De Guzman believes the European break can see them climb further up the table and hopefully find a consistency of performance which has been lacking so far this term.

The Dutch midfielder said: "It's a big chance to press on in the Premier League.

"We have a lot of games coming up over the next two months and it will be great for us to be able to really focus in on the league and try to move up the table.

"It will be difficult but this was the time when we put a good run together last season so hopefully we can do the same again."

Norwich have proven to be something of a bogey side for the Swans since their promotion to the top-flight, and they have yet to beat the Canaries in the Premier League.

Chris Hughton's side have not had the best of starts to the season, but have been boosted by their win at West Brom last weekend.

And De Guzman says Swansea will need to show a major improvement from their poor displays in Switzerland and against Hull if they are to take all three points.

"I think in the lower half of the table all the teams have been a bit up and down, teams have not been able to find any consistency," he said.

"It will be an open game against them but we have to go there and show our quality and be ready to fight for the win. We have to step up.

"We know we will need a much better performance than we showed here and against Hull, but it is a relief for us to have got to the next round of the Europa League and we can put it out of our minds for a bit and focus on the league."

Monday's Europa League draw could see Swansea land a high-profile tie against the likes of Benfica or Napoli.

Their Group A campaign tailed off after their stunning triumph in Valencia in their opening fixture.

De Guzman admits Swansea could have had a more comfortable conclusion to their group campaign, as opposed to having to hope Kuban Krasnodar failed to win in Valencia, but feels they can still take confidence from having advanced.

"We are happy to be through, it is great for the players and fans," he said. "We could have made it a lot easier in terms of results but in the end we got the job done and we actually managed to do that.

"But really we have to look at ourselves in the mirror. We could have made it easier. If we want to get results we need to pick up our performances.

"But it's my first time in the knockout stages too, as when I have been in Europe before I have been knocked out in the group stage. It's exciting and everyone wants to try and do their best as we move forward."

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