Spanish defender Angel Rangel feels Swansea’s success has been taken for granted and staying up this season represents a “fantastic achievement”.
Swansea have suffered a torrid season with three different managers overseeing a campaign which has seen them move to within touching distance of Premier League safety with three games remaining.
It has proved something of a reality check for a club which has established itself in the top flight since winning promotion in 2011, and last season finished in a Premier League best position of eighth with a record 56 points total.
But Rangel, who has made nearly 350 appearances for the Welsh club since joining from Spanish third division side Terrassa in 2007, suggests Swansea have become a victim of their own success.
“This season has been so difficult for us,” Rangel said ahead of Sunday’s penultimate home game of the season against Liverpool.
“We have had three managers and when this happens, you know it’s going to be tough.
“For us the most important thing is to stay in the Premier League.
“Sometimes we can take it for granted – maybe people expect us to finish in the top 10.
“But it’s been hard for us, and I think staying up this year will be a fantastic achievement considering what’s happened.”
Swansea reached the treasured 40-point mark three weeks ago when they beat Chelsea for the first time in the Premier League.
But heavy back-to-back defeats since at Newcastle and Leicester means they are still not mathematically safe as Norwich and Sunderland can still overhaul them.
Rangel told the official club website: “Hopefully we can build on what we did against Chelsea in our last home game when we play Liverpool.
“It’s in our hands. We have to look at Liverpool as an exciting game and try to get a better performance than in the last two games.
“It’s important that with three games left, we get some points and give something back to the fans.
“We have to try to finish the season on a high – maybe we can finish 13th or 14th.”
After top flight finishes of 11th, ninth, 12th and eighth in the last four season, Swansea are currently 15th.
They are only a point behind Everton in 11th, but they do have a tough finish with a trip to West Ham and a final home game against Manchester City following Liverpool’s visit.
After those games, Swansea’s players will discover if head coach Francesco Guidolin will remain in charge for next season.
The Italian’s contract expires next month and there is no indication as yet that the former Parma and Udinese coach will be offered a new deal.
Asked about Guidolin’s position, Rangel said: “Francesco has done a fantastic job, but it’s up to the board now.”