Swansea City midfielder Leon Britton's screen test inspires team-mates ahead of final push for survival

Graham Clutton
Swansea beat Stoke after Leon Britton handed out a DVD chronicling the darkest days of the club before the Premier League millions started sloshing around south Wales - PA

If Swansea City’s survival bid is successful, then Leon Britton should take a great deal of credit for highlighting precisely what Premier League football means to the city.

Britton was part of the Swansea City squad that came within a few minutes of losing its Football League status in 2003.

Those desperate days in the club’s history, when a bucket would be passed around the old Vetch Field Stadium to help pay the players’ wages, were chronicled in the 2014 film, Jack to a King – The Swansea Story.

On Friday of last week, Britton, who was poised to make his first start since Paul Clement succeeded Bob Bradley at the Liberty Stadium, gave each member of the Swansea squad a copy of the DVD and asked them to watch it before Saturday’s game.

Tom Carroll scored Swansea City's second goal to secure all three points on Saturday Credit:  Getty Images 

The rest is history. Goals from Fernando Llorente and Tom Carroll, in a significantly improved performance, suggests that Britton’s decision to prick the conscience of the club’s millionaire stars was the right one.

Britton said: “I got 25 copies of the DVD and gave one to each of the boys. I just said, ‘If you get a spare hour or so before the game, just have a watch’.

“I just felt maybe some of them didn’t understand. They have come to a Premier League club and they think it’s always been like this.

“You don’t blame them for thinking like that. However, maybe they don’t understand it wasn’t that long ago that we were washing our own kit and trying to find somewhere to train. So, I just said: ‘Have a watch and see how much it means to some people’.

“To be fair, quite a few of the boys made comments about it and spoke about what happened in it. So, I think quite a few of them did watch it.”

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Swansea remain in the bottom three, courtesy of Hull’s victory over Watford. However, Clement targeted three wins from their remaining five games and they are well on course to achieve that much at least.

Of course, Marko Arnautovic's missed penalty in the second half helped, as did the fact that Saido Berahino squandered a great chance with a modest header in first-half stoppage- time.

Still, as Clement said: “We haven’t had a lot of good fortune lately, so we will take it.”

The club are still locked in a relegation battle and the focus is now on Sunday’s game at Manchester United. 

Britton said: “It’s pretty clear it’s between us Hull and us. It has been for a few weeks. Hopefully it will go right to the wire and it will be us that stay up.”

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