22 Dec I can kick-start Swans revival, says caretaker boss Leon Britton
Leon Britton has expressed his confidence that he can have a positive impact on Swansea’s players as caretaker boss.
The 35-year-old was handed the role after Paul Clement’s sacking earlier this week and will be in charge for the Premier League basement boys’ home clash with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Long-serving midfielder Britton, who became a player-coach at Swansea last month, has stressed he is not looking to become Clement’s full-time successor.
When asked what he felt he could bring to the situation during his temporary stint, Britton said in a press conference streamed on Swansea’s official website: “I know the players very well.
“I think I will get the respect because they know I have been here a long time. I just need to get a bit of confidence back into the team, maybe some clarity, just make things clear for the players.
“One of the reasons I agreed to take this role is I believe I can have an affect on the team in the immediate future.”
Two days after Swansea’s eighth loss in 10 league matches, Clement was axed on Wednesday with the club four points adrift of safety, having taken only 12 from 18 games this term.
Britton added: “If we can get that noise going at the Liberty Stadium and hopefully I can try to give the players a lift, I don’t see why we can’t go into this game with a positive frame of mind and get the result.
“There has been some bad feeling in the stadium but I think the fans will be right behind us. The players need to go out there and show the commitment, that they are up to the fight.”
Britton is in no doubt Swansea have a “big battle” ahead, but believes they can survive.
The Swans also had 12 points when Clement was appointed in January, and he guided them out of the relegation zone and to a 15th-placed finish.
Britton said: “If the situation we’re in isn’t a wake-up call, then I don’t know what will be – the manager’s gone and if people are sleeping, they need to wake up right now because we have a big battle on our hands.
“(But) last year we were on 12 points and had a brilliant second half of the season.
“There’s going to be people who write us off, but I think last year people did the same and we were able to get out of it.
“We have to use that experience, keep the belief, and we can do it. I do believe in the squad and that we can get out of this situation.”
Palace were bottom with no points from four games when boss Roy Hodgson replaced Frank de Boer – one of the names being linked with Swansea, along with the likes of Slaven Bilic and Ronald Koeman – in September.
They are now 14th, and Britton said: “It just shows.
“Before Roy came in there were people writing off Palace, and all of a sudden their fortunes have turned around.”