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Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 12th August 2018 Kick-off 13:30
Saints At Everton The Preview
Thursday, 3rd May 2018 11:14
Saints have to get a minimum of four points out of the next two games if they are to have any real chance of staying up, but things have changed in the past few weeks and it can be done.
People ask how we can win at least two out of the final four games when we had only won five out of the previous 34, the answer is that things have changed within the mindset in the Saints dressing room.
Before the Bournemouth game we had got used to not winning, we needed to change that attitude and Mark Hughes has started to do just that, the defeats to Arsenal & Chelsea saw a new fighting spirit and although the draw at Leicester wasn't pretty, it was a tough place to go and we dug in and showed spirit to earn a point that may prove crucial come the final day.
Also Mark Hughes has weeded out those who are not willing to roll up their sleeves and fight and he has inspired some like Tadic and Lemina to do just that and show their undoubted talent.
Add to that the return of Charlie Austin giving us some firepower and Hughes getting his tactical formation right and we are in a lot better shape than we have been for most of the season.
That gives hope that Saints can pull off an unlikely Premier League survival.
The 70 mins against Chelsea and then the win against Bournemouth showed we have the spirit and are a better team than our League position shows, we just now need to prove it.
The trip to Everton will not be easy, indeed it is traditionally a place we have rarely won at over the last forty years or so, the last being 20 seasons ago when Kevin Davies scored his wonder goal to give us a 2-0 win in 1997, so we are overdue three points at Goodison.
For me Mark Hughes has to go with the starting line up against Bournemouth, that has good balance and offers the opportunity to get behind the ball and defend but also get forward with pace.
He might make a couple of changes in personnel, perhaps opting to start Long for Austin and Hojbjerg for Romeu, but apart from that i would keep both the formation and team intact.
The key will be using the substitutes to the greatest effect whichever way the game is going, we have options from the bench and if Hughes utilises them then we have every chance of winning the game.
If we can get three points under our belts then that will be a great boost ahead of the relegation six pointer at Swansea, Saints can do this, it is important to not lose at Everton and preferably win.
The belief is back, the squad is better than at any other time in the season, we have found momentum, a big big game.
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