'We're in decent form — but we can still go up a few gears'
LEON Britton believes Swansea City will head into the South Wales derby in solid rather than spectacular form.
Michael Laudrup's side are unbeaten in three games after a thumping 4-0 victory over Sunderland was followed by consecutive draws against Kuban Krasnodar and West Ham.
The Russians pinched a Europa League point at the Liberty last Thursday, equalising with an injury-time penalty, before West Ham's 4-6-0 formation frustrated Swansea.
Though not quite finding top gear, Britton reckons Swansea travel content as they sit ninth in the Premier League table.
"We're not doing too bad in terms of our form," he said.
"We are disappointed with the last week. We spoke about it being a big and good week for us. We started off well with a win over Sunderland and then we've had two draws. We didn't get maximum points, but it wasn't the worst week.
"We go into the derby in decent form."
Cardiff are fifth from bottom in the Premier League, having collected nine points from as many games so far.
But they have beaten high-flying Manchester City at home.
Then Manuel Pellegrini's side were undone by Cardiff set-pieces as Frazier Campbell twice profited from indecisive defending.
Swansea have also struggled against similar direct tactics in the past, but did well to keep out a route one West Ham on Sunday.
Captain Ashley Williams returned after five weeks out for the match, and Britton insists he will be an important figure next weekend.
"Cardiff have done well for a promoted team. They bought well in the summer. We know Steven Caulker well and he's done very well so far," said Britton.
"They have made a solid start as a team coming up from the Championship and they look like they could be here to stay.
"Set-pieces are always important in tight games especially like the West Ham one.
"We have improved on set-pieces both attacking and defensively so hopefully against Cardiff next week we can carry on with that.
"West Ham are one of the best in the league at set-pieces. They are a big, strong team. It wasn't just two or three corners, it was seven or eight. It was a good test for us, but I thought we stood up and dealt with it well.
"It's great to have Ashley back. He's a very experienced player and our captain.
"Jordi (Amat) and Chico Flores have done very well in his absence, but to have the captain back was a big boost for us. He needed 90 minutes under his belt going into the Cardiff game."
Williams partnered Caulker in central defence during Swansea's first season in the Premier League two years ago.
Then on loan from Spurs, the England international moved to Cardiff in the summer and has skippered the side in the absence of Craig Bellamy this term.
"I don't know what sort of reception he'll get. He was with us for a season, albeit on loan. He wasn't signed permanently to Swansea," said Britton.
"It's down to the Swansea fans what reception they want to give him.
"I still keep in contact with him, he's a good lad and did very well for us.
"I texted him and said, 'Get ready for the build-up' because he is new to it as well.
"It's going to start now. But he's doing really well."
Swansea had to settle for a point last Sunday in game short on chances.
Chico Flores powered a first-half header against Jussi Jaaskelainen, but the home side's best chance probably arrived in injury time when Nathan Dyer's cross appeared to strike Joe Cole's arm.
"Some referees might have given it, others don't," added Britton.
"I thought it hit his arm. But, at the same time, if the boot was on the other foot, if a penalty was given against us for that then you would feel gutted.
"It depends on the referee and he decided it wasn't."