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Leon: Liberty vital to top-ten hopes

PUBLISHED

12:47 17th April 2013

. . . Britton feels home form is crucial during Swans' run-in


The Swans face in-form Southampton on Saturday with Leon Britton urging Michael Laudrup’s men to make the most of home comforts.
The Swans are seeking a first win in five games when they take on the Saints in SA1.
Not since the 1-0 win over Newcastle in March have the Swans tasted victory, with defeats to West Brom, Arsenal and Spurs coming before a 2-2 draw at Norwich last time out.
Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival as manager has re-energised the Saints, with the Argentine picking up 16 points for his 11 games in charge which include victories over Manchester City and Liverpool.
Three victories and two draws in their last five games have pushed them up to 11th position with 38 points – just three behind the Swans.
And Britton, who started in the 2-2 draw at St Mary’s last November, believes the Swans need to make the most of their home games if they are to cement their place in the top-half of the Barclays Premier League.
“Southampton have done brilliantly recently, particularly since the new manager came in. They’ve beaten some massive teams and now they are pretty much safe,” said Britton.
“They have been on a great run of form and that’s something we are well aware of. It’s going to be a very tough afternoon for us.
“They will look at this game as a chance to pick up a win and go level with us.
“But we want to finish in the top ten. We’ve not been on the best of runs recently, so we need to pick up wins. It’s not good drawing or losing because teams are catching us up.
“If we can beat Southampton we will have a cushion between us.
“There are not many games left now so we want to make sure we cement our place in the top ten.
“Home form is massive for us. It always has been since we came to the Liberty, and there will be a great atmosphere yet again this weekend.
“It’s important we get back on track sharpish and victory over Southampton at a packed out Liberty will do that for us.”
The Swans were without a game last weekend due to Wigan’s FA Cup semi-final against Millwall.
But Britton revealed the intensity in training has raised as the Swans look to claim a top-ten finish.
“Training has been very intense recently,” he added.
“It’s not like it was a jolly before that, but the last three or four weeks have gone up a notch again.
“I’m sure that it will help prepare us even more for Saturday, because Southampton will come here fancying a win due to their recent form.”

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