A VISIT to Anfield, one of Europe's most illustrious footballing arenas, should have been ideal preparation for Swansea City's first ever major cup final.
As it turned out, however, Swansea's encounter with Liverpool turned out to be a nightmare as they lost 5-0 to the side managed by their old boss Brendan Rodgers.
His successor, Michael Laudrup, made seven changes to the Swansea side in order to keep his starting line-up intact for next Sunday's Capital One Cup final against Bradford, but that decision came at a heavy price.
Yesterday's disjointed performance saw the Swans suffer their worst ever defeat in the Premier League and allowed Liverpool to leapfrog them into seventh place in the table.
And for Swansea's goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who had a better view than anybody of the Reds' five goals, this was a day to forget.
"I've played a lot of games in my career already but this is probably the worst," he said.
"As a team you win and lose with each other. You have the privilege to play at Anfield against Liverpool in front of their amazing supporters, on a nice pitch, in good conditions, but if you play like this then you don't deserve to play at Anfield.
"We showed this year what we are capable of against the big teams but today our mentality was so poor.
"I hope it's just an accident because we could have lost 10-0.
"If you play like that even against smaller clubs we will get beat."
This was certainly a chastening return to reality for Swansea, who had spent last week in the sunshine of Dubai.
Their trip was meant to be a chance to refresh and revitalise ahead of next Sunday's visit to Wembley.
But judging by the sluggish nature of their performance at Anfield, it seemed the Swans' minds were still somewhere on a Persian beach when they kicked off against Liverpool.
"I hope it's a wake-up call for next week, but I don't think we needed this," Vorm added.
"We have shown in away games already this season that we can compete — this is so unlike Swansea.
"Everybody has to look in the mirror and ask if they gave 100 per cent, and what more they could do better next time.
"We will mourn for a couple of days and be sharp and fit for the final."
Erasing yesterday's game from their memory will be a difficult task for Swansea.
But with a chance to win the club's first ever major trophy when they take on Bradford at Wembley, they will not be lacking for inspiration.
"I always want to win and play well but, even if we can't win, I need to see more aggression and a better mentality," said Vorm.
"I'm sure I will not sleep for the next few nights because I can still feel it.
"We need to have a good week of training and we will be OK for the final."