SWINDON Town legend Jan-Aage Fjortoft says the pressure of a relegation battle is the most intense in football as the very existence of the club can be called into question.

Fjortoft played in his fair share of sides battling against relegation throughout an almost-20 year career, one of which came at the County Ground during Town’s sole season in the Premier League between 1993-94.

The Norwegian admitted there was not as much pressure on that season as Town were simply enjoying a “jolly ride” in the top-flight, but said other campaigns will be remembered for the strain they had on he and his teammates.

Fjortoft picked out his spell at Eintracht Frankfurt – three years after leaving the County Ground – as a period where every spring would lead to almost unbearable tension.

He said: “Sometimes, people talk about the pressure of being at the top. But I was in the Bundesliga for two or three seasons and I was always involved in the relegation battle, and you just feel it’s about the existence of the club.

“I can’t compare that time to my time at Swindon 100 per cent because somehow for people at the club, it felt like it was an adventure to be in the Premier League anyway. For us to go down to the Championship was more like a return to the norm.

“But I think the pressure is even bigger in a relegation battle. You hear about football players talk about the battle for Europe or getting into the play-offs, but the battle against relegation is even more nerve-wracking because you know what the consequences are for the whole club, the fans, everybody.”

Fjortoft stated the pressure did not get any easier after he stopped playing either. The 54-year-old experienced a turbulent time as director of football for Lillestrom in Norway’s top division before resigning in 2008.

Fjortoft continued: “I was the director of football for my hometown in Norway, Lillestrom, and we had three season where we were fighting for the title, but then in the fourth we were struggling with the threat of relegation.

“The pressure was so much higher in that fourth season because you just feel that the consequences are enormous.

“Especially when you are in the position Swindon Town is in now, you felt Swindon was on their way back and they wanted to establish themself at a new level. Hopefully, they can lay a strong platform now to come back to the level us guys in the 90s feel we belong.”