Big Decisions For Britton To Make Ahead of Palace Game
Swansea City's new caretaker manager Leon Britton faces some tough decisions ahead of Saturday's huge home game against Crystal Palace.
The club legend will be supported by under-23s coaches Cameron Toshack and Gary Richards, as well as current goalkeeping coach Tony Roberts.
Britton was appointed as Paul Clement's assistant about five weeks ago after Claude Makelele left to take up a job in Belgium. Fans speculated that the appointment was simply to get Leon ready for a caretaker role when they finally decided to sack Paul Clement.
As predictable as ever, Leon Britton is now the man - rather than Alan Curtis in previous seasons - to take temporary charge.
He has insisted though, that he's not interested in the job on a permanent basis, claiming that the timing isn't right, but hasn't ruled out the job in the future.
'I don't think it's the right time for me to take the job on a permanent basis,'
'That is not to say I wouldn't take it in the future.'
It's the sensible choice, the timing wouldn't be right and he will probably want to gain some experience first before considering the role.
With Crystal Palace visiting the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, it's a huge game for us against a side who are on the up having occupied bottom place earlier in the season.
Roy Hodgson has turned them around after failing to score a single goal under former boss Frank de Boer - who's now one of the main candidates to replace Paul Clement.
Leon Britton has some big decisions to make - obviously the starting line-up, but I'd guess that he'll be looking to get the team back to basics first and foremost. The team need to be more ambitious and positive, especially at home, but without losing any defensive stability.
It'll be interesting to see what he goes with - together with the advice and guidance from his staff. Will he look to revert back to something of the Swansea Way and bring back wingers in a 4-2-3-1 system? Or opt to not move too far away from what Clement was adopting, but simply to concentrate more on the basics - adopting a quicker, more energetic style and trying to be more positive, rather than risk-free in the opposition's half?
Palace are a side that don't lack attacking quality unlike us, and they'll be full of confidence following their recent bright run that has lifted them up to 14th place from the bottom.
One of the key things that we've been lacking at home is getting off to good starts. Clement was critical of the atmosphere at the Liberty, which affects the players - who by all accounts really struggle against that, and are more settled and relaxed away from home.
But Clement's conservative and safety-first style doesn't help. Britton made a good point in Thursday's pre-match press conference - when asked about the atmosphere - that the players have to give something for the fans to be happy about.
The first 10 minutes is crucial, get off to a flying, energetic start, get on the front foot and get the fans on side from the start and build on that.
'When we have needed the fans most in difficult times they have been there.
'I know before there has been some been bad feeling in the stadium, but I think on Saturday the fans will be right behind us and we will need them.
'But the players need to go out there and show the commitment they are up for the fight.'
What would you do if you were caretaker manager? Can Leon Britton inspire an improved and winning performance to boost our dying hopes of staying up? Let us know in the comments below...