Saints Aim To End Relegation Worries In Next Three Games
Tuesday, 29th Jan 2019 09:18
Saints have three important & tough games coming up, but all are winnable and Saints aim to come through them having taken big steps towards Premier League safety and looking up the Premier League and not down it.
Saints position in The Premier League this time last year was not that far removed from what it is today, after 23 games we had 21 points compared to this years total of 22.
However the situation is a lot lot different, then we were slipping down the table and looking certain to go down as we had a squad poorly led and motivated and to be blunt things did not get a lot better under Mark Hughes, luckily they got worse for Swansea City.
With four games to go last term we only had 29 points on the board and relied on two wins and a draw in those final four games to keep our heads above water, we can achieve that total in our next three games, although on a word of caution a year ago we could have said the same thing.
But this year is different and Saints take on Crystal Palace at St Mary's followed by the trip to Burnley and then the visit of Cardiff City full of optimism.
But we should not get over confident, we know we still have problems in the defence and we seem to be gambling that we can stay up with what we have to hand, in fact we have sold two defenders despite injury issues at the back.
If we remain unbeaten in this trio of games then we will have taken small steps, if we can get 5 points then slightly bigger steps in fact I would suggest that one win and two draws would be a lot better for us than our rivals for the relegation spots.
Anything above five though and we will have taken massive strides forward, but we need to focus on each game as it comes and first up is Palace, we won their earlier in the season, but then again we did so last season and then followed that up by throwing away a 1-0 lead against the Eagles in the final 20 minutes and losing 2-1 despite dominating the game.
That was the story of last season and the story of this, if we don't buy another central defender then I have every confidence we will pull clear but it will not be easy we will continue to throw away leads and concede soft goals as recent weeks have shown.
So it is important to get points on the board now and pull well clear from the relegation zone, that is what we failed to do last season and the palace game was a syptom of what had gone on before and what was to follow.
But things are different under Ralph Hasenhuttl there is a spirit that wasn't there a year ago, there is a leadership that wasn't there a year ago and I would say the squad is stronger than a year ago even after the recent departures.
That all gives hope and we now need to turn that into results, Ralph has done a great job so far and if he keeps up his points ratio so far of 13 points from 8 games then we will be safe in plenty of time, but this is the critical time, the three games that will define the season, get those 8 points or at least a fair chunk of them on the board now and then we can plan for the future and not worry about it.
Photo: Action Images
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Letters from Wiltshire #23 by wessex_exile
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