Thankfully it was 'swim' with a capital 'S' for the talented defender/midfielder as he shone in England's defence and managed to notch his first international goal along the way in the 1-1 draw in Faro.
The media certainly didn't hold back on its collective praise of the 23-year-old with many pundits suggesting he'd climbed up one or two places in Sven Goran's Eriksson's defensive pecking order.
"That game was reassurance really," pondered Ledley at our training break in Dubai. "I haven't played as well as I can for a while but it reassured me that I could still be the player I thought I could be.
"It was my first full start and you either sink or swim out there.
"You can't afford to miss out on such a good opportunity but at the same time, have a bad game and it can work the other way. I was determined to do well."
Ledley admitted he 'doesn't feel any different' despite the performance and the praise that followed.
"Obviously it was great to get my first start and then cap it off with a lucky goal but nothing has changed too much," he added.
"I've always had confidence in myself and believed if I got a chance I would do well. It was a little surprising the way people reacted but that's nothing new."
Ledley King feels it was 'sink or swim' in terms of his Euro 2004 chances as he lined-up for his first England start against Portugal.