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Captain Fantastic Saw Us Home
Sunday, 14th May 2017 17:34 by Planet Swans (follow us on Twitter @swansnews)

Make no mistake about it, the biggest player in our successful battle against safety was - ironically - one of the smallest but he was the one that turned around our season and gave the belief to everyone that we could stay up.

From the cheesy giving everyone a copy of the marketing tool that was Jack to a King to getting 3000 Jacks to Sunderland yesterday with the free tickets the legend that is Leon Britton can never be underestimated.

Since he has returned to the side, we have taken 10 points from 12 and can consider ourselves cheated out of it being four successive wins thanks to the scandalous decision made for the penalty at Old Trafford.

It seems inconceivable to think that these were Leon's only four appearances under Paul Clement and it would be madness to completely write off the part that others played but there are moments that change history and the decision Clement made to pick Leon against Stoke was one of those.

We went into the game off the back of just one point from eighteen and looking doomed towards Championship football. We were a team that was devoid of confidence and goals having scored just twice in those six games prior to the recall of Britton.

But when he came back in, for me it wasn't just his football that made a difference but it was his presence and belief. He wanted to win the ball in midfield, he lifted the players around him and when you look at the fact that we only conceded that penalty in the four games then you know that we became far more tight as a unit.

Then there was the off the pitch antics which reminded everyone around Britton what this club can means something that he knows all too well having been part of our last great escape back in 2003.

The only downside to Britton is that he is 34 and coming to the end of his career. Over 500 appearance for the club should not be forgotten but he struggles to get through 90 minutes. If we have one massive challenge in front of us this summer it is finding the person who can be the new Leon Britton going forward. A job I wouldn't envy anyone having to do.

But for now we should enjoy everything that he has bought us which now includes a 7th season of Premier League football.


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