'It will be good to see Scotty again because he played a massive part in getting us to where we are today'
LEON Britton knows what it is like to struggle after leaving Swansea City.
Happily for him, of course, a sorry stint at Sheffield United lasted only six months because Brendan Rodgers brought him back to SA1.
Despite suggestions in the spring that it might be a possibility, there has been no return for Scott Sinclair.
Instead the hero of Swansea's Championship play-off final victory over Reading has pitched up at West Bromwich Albion hoping to get his career back on track.
Ex-Chelsea youngster Sinclair told how he always knew he would return to a big club when he ended his two-year spell as a Swan by joining Manchester City 12 months ago.
Signed for £6.2 million, Sinclair expected to be given a chance to prove he is good enough for a Champions League outfit at the Etihad Stadium.
What he got was three City starts in a season and now he is on a year-long loan at The Hawthorns.
He made his Baggies bow as Steve Clarke's team saw off Newport County in the Capital One Cup in midweek.
Now comes a probable league debut against the club where he enjoyed the best spell of his career.
"It will be good to see Scotty," Britton says.
"We saw him at Manchester City last season, but obviously he hasn't featured too much up there so far. It will be good to see him because he played a massive part in getting us to where we are.
"He scored the hat-trick at Wembley and 27 goals during that season, so he played a big part.
"The boys will be happy to see him and it will be nice to see him playing again."
Sinclair's task at West Brom is to re-establish himself as a Premier League player after such a sorry stint at City.
At least he should get some game-time at a club whose squad does not feature the sort of options Roberto Mancini had at his disposal last season.
"I think Scotty will do well at West Brom," Britton adds.
"He is a very good professional and he is a good player. It has not worked out for him at City so far and he needs to play some games.
"He had the season with us in the Premier League and now he has almost had a season off.
"But I think he is a good player — he showed that when he was with us and I think he will show it at West Brom."
Sinclair claimed an assist against County, and it would be no great shock if he got on the scoresheet this weekend.
His last goal was in a Swansea shirt, on the opening day of last season at Queens Park Rangers.
"These things happen — you always talk about ex-players coming back to haunt you — but hopefully he won't score against us," Britton says.
"We know his game — hopefully that will help us because we know what he likes to do. And hopefully he will be really rusty and he won't last too long!"
Sinclair may have to blow off the cobwebs after so long on the sidelines, but then Swansea may be puffing out their cheeks after a long week.
Three away games in seven days is a big ask for any squad and, after the first two trips ended in defeat, Michael Laudrup's players are aware of the need to get something in the Black Country.
"It is tough," Britton concedes. "But this is all part of being in Europe — getting back in the middle of the night, training in the afternoon and then on Saturday going back on the road.
"It is tough physically, but that's why we have got a strong squad, so the manager can try to keep things fresh.
"The three lads (Ashley Williams, Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Bony) stayed at home this week, and I am sure there will be changes again tomorrow."
Left out at Tottenham last Sunday, Britton hopes to retain his place at West Brom after captaining Swansea in Petrolul Ploiesti on Thursday night.
The evening did not go exactly according to plan, particularly as two second-half bookings meant Britton walked down the tunnel five minutes or so earlier then everyone else.
"Losing 2-1 and getting sent off obviously wasn't the way I planned it," the 30-year-old says.
"The first yellow was just after Rory Donnelly's goal was disallowed. They were on the counter-attack, and you bring him down to stop the play and get the lads back in.
"When I got the second one, Chico (Flores) was on the floor and they had a free-kick.
"You want to stop the free-kick to stop them breaking on you. They were two cheap cards really, but it happens."
The Petrolul red means Britton will be suspended for the next chapter of Swansea's European adventure.
Before Laudrup's players start thinking once more about the Europa League, however, they need to get their domestic campaign up and running.
There is no shame in back-to-back defeats by Manchester United and Spurs, but Swansea do not want to be propping up the table for long.
"We have had a tough start and we want to get something on the board," Britton says.
"That means West Brom is a big game for us.
"The two league defeats were against tough opposition, but we want to try to get back into the swing of things and get some points on the board.
"West Brom had a very good season last year and it's a tough place to go but we want to go there try to start our season."
It is a similar story for the familiar face in West Brom's ranks.
Swansea must hope they get out of the blocks faster than Sinclair.