Britton: Fans are crucial for Cherries test

24th November 2017
First team

Leon Britton insists the Jack Army could prove a vital ingredient as the Swans look to pick up precious Premier League points this Saturday.

Paul Clement’s side host Bournemouth at the Liberty with the Swans hoping to rise out of the top-flight’s bottom three.

Victory over Huddersfield Town has proved to be the only points picked up so far on home soil, with Clement and co determined to turn their form around in SA1.

And Britton, who has played 525 times for the Swans, believes the Liberty crowd could play a big part in helping change the club’s fortunes following a difficult start to the campaign.

“We’ve had a difficult start to the season so far, and we’re determined to change that,” said Britton.

“Our form at the Liberty has very disappointing so far, and that’s something we really need to change because the Liberty has been a huge factor for us in past seasons.

“I’ve spoken to opposition players that have played against us at the Liberty and they said ‘wow, that was a really difficult place to play’. That was not just because we gave them a tough time but because our fans have been incredible.

“When you’re walking through that tunnel and the fans are signing away it gives you goosebumps every time. It really sets the tone for the game.

“We have one of the smallest stadiums in the Premier League, but we have the fans who make the most noise.”

The Swans host a Bournemouth side that sits just two points off the top half following consecutive wins over Newcastle United and Huddersfueld Town.

Britton added: “It’s a big game for us on Saturday, and it is very much a team effort that we need.

“It’s about the players making a fast start and getting the fans on their feet. We saw against Huddersfield how important a good start is.

“Tammy chased down the keeper straight away from the kick off while Leroy was booked within a minute or two. Obviously, you don’t want to pick up yellow cards but that early commitment and effort helped build a fantastic atmosphere.

“If we can do that against Bournemouth then I’ve no doubt our fans will create another fantastic atmosphere which could play a key role in us picking up three important points.”

Britton was part of the coaching staff for last weekend’s defeat at Burnley, with the midfielder getting a first taste of his new player-coach role.

The 35-year-old, however, is yet to know whether he will be on the pitch or dugout for the clash against Eddie Howe’s Cherries.

“I’m fit and available for Saturday’s game, so we will wait and see if I am part of the squad or not,” added Britton.

“If I’m not involved this weekend then it will be the first time at the Liberty for me as part of the coaching staff, so it will be a special moment.”