Saints V Huddersfield The Preview
Thursday, 13th Aug 2009 22:14
Alan Pardew has a dilemma or two ahead of the game in Yorkshire
Saints travel up to Huddersfield on the back of a confidence boosting start to the season, the draw with Millwall was good and the win against Northampton had more plus points than minus's, however Alan Pardew knows that Saints have to keep the unbeaten run going to not only boost confidence but staret to eat away at the points deficit, but he also knows his team building is not yet complete.
In truth we are still short in the centre of defence, Wayne Thomas and Chris Perry are adequate but for one reason or another are not ideal and Oliver Lancashire who will be 21 in December is quite frankly not up to it and you have to be frank and say if he isnt the finished article now, he possibly never will be.
So Pardew as well as Saints supporters would probably liked to have at least one more centre half in before the trip to Huddersfield, however that looks increasingly more unlikely and even if someone was signed would they be able to be plunged straight into the fray.
However if the weakness is defence then we have to concentrate on going forward and its here that AP has a few tough decisions to make, although its likely that he will go with the same starting line up in midfield, he does have plenty of options for the bench or perhaps even the starting line up, Gillett is pushing for a place in the centre and Joseph Mills could be a contender for the left, thats not to mention Thomson, Gobern & Lee Holmes all of whom can do a job as they say.
Up front Saints fans hve high hopes of Rickie Lambert and having scored his debut goal he is up and running, but who is played alongside him, Patterson is perhaps the best option but is raw and you would think all things being equal might be better coming off the bench, however thats not to underestimate his contribution so far, I still believe that he will be a big player this season, but then there is Rasiak & Saganowski.
OK both the Poles want away, lets be honest who can blame them, with the World Cup next year they want to be back in the Polish squad and to do that they need to be playing regularly in at least the Championship or abroad, what we need to do now is use them as a means to an end, hopefully they will play for their move and in the meantime that can only benefit Saints,Lambert apart, both should be considered as amongst the best strikers in League 1, they need to prove it for their own careers.
So Saints go North with confidence high and knowing that although they are still a few players short of what is ultimately needed, they still have a squad that is competitive, Huddersfield were an enigma at home last year, although they only lost 6 times, they only won 9, drawing 8 and it was those draws that cost them dearly, MK Dons apart who won 12, all the other sides above them won at least 13 at home and there lay the difference between 9th where they finished and the 6th spot that would have got them into the play offs, of their lat 8 home games they won only 2, drawing 4 & losing 2, yielding only 10 points it cost them dearly.
So Saints go to the Galpharm knowing that whilst its tough, itsnot impenatrable, Yorkshire was in the main a happy hunting ground last year with wins at Barnsley & Doncaster a draw at Sheffield United being spoiled only by the abysmal defeat at Hillsborough.
Saints can get a result here, if its a win we will take great leaps forward, but as has often been said, we need to be patient, secure in the knowledge that slowly but surely we are rebuilding this football club.
Photo: Action Images
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