Saints Looking For A Strong End To The Season
Monday, 29th Apr 2019 14:53
Ralph Hasenhuttl rewarded his players after securing Premier League safety by giving them a couple of extra days off, but he want's them to come back raring to go and to end the season with three straight wins.
It was ironic after 9 straight defeats in the Premier League for Fulham that in beating Cardiff and securing Saints safety they did something that Saints haven't managed all season.
I'm not just referring to actually taking a point off the Welsh club, the two defeats to Neil Warnock's men meaning that we looked over our shoulders for a lot longer than we perhaps should have, but in winning three Premier League games in a row, something that we have not only failed to do this season, but in the two seasons preceding this.
This lack of any real consistency is the difference between struggling and mid table safety and after throwing away yet more points in the last four minutes on Saturday it will mean that the 3rd year anniversary since our last hat trick of wins will pass by in the next week or so.
But Ralph Hasenhuttl is not taking his eyes off the ball, he has already indicated that the rebuilding is already beginning and although in his mind he will already formulated the core of his squad for next term, there are a few out there who will be playing for their future in the last couple of games.
Hopefully that will see us have a storming finish, we can now get a maximum 44 points and we are now looking to see who we can overhaul directly above us, there are 4 clubs who we can catch Burnley 40 points, Bournemouth 42 points, Newcastle 42 points & Palace on 43 points, so what are the chances of being able to move up the table and secure an extra £2 million per place.
Burnley is a real possibility, they have Everton away on Friday night and end with Arsenal at home, we have a fair chance to do that if we can win at West Ham and follow that up by beating Huddersfield.
Bournemouth and Newcastle will be more difficult , but both have tough finishes, The Cherries have Spurs at home this weekend and then finish up with a trip to Crystal Palace, we could overhaul them, likewise Newcastle who host Liverpool on Saturday and end with a trip to Fulham, in truth though I cant see them losing both games, especially with Aleksandar Mitrovic unable to play for Fulham as he is on loan from Newcastle.
Palace are going to be hard to catch, even if Cardiff beat them on Tuesday, it is hard to see them failing to beat Bournemouth on the final day and indeed it might be something we need them to do.
So Ralph will want to see his side sign off with two straight wins and in doing so perhaps push up a place or two in the rankings, If Bournemouth lose their final two games a draw and a win might well be enough to see us leap frog over them.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has put a sense of pride back into Southampton FC, its players and just as importantly it's supporters, he will not let his team coast through the final two games.
The future next season can be very bright, with the right signings this team could easily finish in the top 10, it's time for optimism and to banish the wave of pessimism that has dragged this club down over the last couple of years.
Photo: Action Images
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Matches of Yesteryear - Shrews v U's 3/12/05 by wessex_exile
Periodically, my Matches of Yesteryear random match generator throws out something that seems somehow appropriate, and given the 2019/20 FA Cup 1st Round draw has just been made, this is no exception.
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