Swansea City forward Andre Ayew says the club are better prepared to make Wembley in this year’s play-offs.
Swansea were beaten in last season’s play-offs 3-2 on aggregate by Brentford despite winning the first leg 1-0.
Ayew, whose goal at Barnsley gave the Swans a 1-0 lead at Oakwell, says they now have the know-how to finish the job and reach Wembley on 29 May.
“The guys are more experienced and with the talent that’s going to help us on Saturday,” he explained.
Ayew says the entire squad are aware of the tough task ahead, as the Liberty Stadium prepares to welcome back fans for the first time in 443 days for the clash with a Barnsley side they have beaten three times this season.
“We were very consistent defensively this year. We were strong and could win games when we didn’t really play well,” said the 31-year-old.
“Last season when we had to win we had to play really well. We couldn’t win playing a little bit ugly. But this year we have become a complete squad.
“We want to play football but when it’s not on you have to match what the opposition brings. You have to deal with it and that’s what we have been able to do. The guys are more experienced and with the talent that’s going to help us on Saturday.
“We have been focused, we are solid, but it’s just half-time. We have to get ready for the fight and make sure we give a big performance.
“The first objective is to get to Wembley. Last season we played well against Brentford here and won 1-0. In the second game we gave it away in the first 20 minutes.
“I think we’ve learned from that and we need to show we’ve grown up and want to be in the final. We prefer to be in our position than theirs at the moment.
“We are happy to be ahead at half-time. but they’ve shown that they don’t give up. We are aware of that but we want to take our fans to Wembley.”
The return of supporters to the Liberty Stadium can give the players a big lift, according to Ayew.
“I can’t wait to be in front of the fans. We missed them and for me it’s very important to play in front of them. I need them there for me to deliver more,” he added.
“We can’t wait – we just want to feel them back. We just want our stadium to be more than what it was at Barnsley.”
Ayew is out of contract this summer and, as Swansea’s highest earner, it seems certain the club must be promoted to keep their talisman.
However, the Ghana captain, who has scored 17 goals for the Swans this term, says he is not worrying about his future, even though Barnsley could be his last game for the club.
“I’m not seeing it like that at the moment to be fair,” he said.
“I’m honestly not thinking about it because what is ahead is so important for me. It’s something which will be dealt with at the right time.
“What I know is I want to be in the Premier League. I could have played in the Premier League, so for what is important is we give everything to get back there.
“It’s going to be very hard, no-one knows what is going to happen on Saturday. What I do know is we will give everything and my contract is not a problem. The right time will come to discuss that.”