Saints Need To Focus On Three Game Periods
Tuesday, 24th Nov 2020 07:45
It has been 7 games without defeat for Saints and that is a fantastic run of games, but as the season progresses we will lose and draw games as well as win them, we should not judge ourselves on one defeat but little 3 game periods.
I have espoused this theory in the past when we have been challenging for promotion or indeed for the top 6 under Ronald Koeman, even in our one real relegation battle 3 years ago, but it is worth reminding everyone that we have to target small runs of games at a time.
With the draw against Wolves if we take this as the final game in a three match period then 7 points out of 9 is a great return given the three sides we played.
Now things get a little tougher, Manchester United might be in a little disarray, but they are still only 4 points behind us and will be looking to get up the table before they lose too much ground on the top 5.
We follow this game with a trip to Brighton and then host Sheffield United, again if we could take 7 points from these 3 games it would set us up nicely.
Although some 3 match tranches will be tougher than others, others will be easier, so far we have averaged 1.89 points per game , if we repeat that over the remaining 29 games that would see us on 71-72 points at the end of the season.
In the last five seasons that would have seen us in 3rd place on 3 occasions and top 5 & 6 in the other two.
Given the highest position we have achieved so far in the last 35 years is 5th that is a good target to aim for, we hit 6th 5 years ago and given the strange season we are in, it is a realistic target to aim for, but we need to focus on the task and not get carried away by a big win or conversely go all doom and gloom with a poor defeat.
So we should be looking in every 3 game set of games to be hitting a minimum of 5 points, if we managed just that it would give us 65 points, that is 2 points more than when we finished 6th in 2016 and most seasons should be enough for 5th place.
So to see whether we are on target for a top 6 finish again we need to judge ourselves not on individual results but if we are maintaining that par score of 5 points every 3 games.
The more times we can beat that par score the easier it will be to hit the target long term.
When we break it down it sounds a lot easier than in practice, but make no bones about it, it will be a tough ask.
So we are now about to complete the first quarter of the season, we have shown that we can compete for a top 10 place, we now need to show we can keep up the pace for a top 5 finish.
At any given time this season I will judge where we are going forward by that 1.66 point per game average in tranches of 3, looking back are we meeting that target short term ie the last 3 games and also medium term 6 or 9 games, if we are then we aren't doing much wrong, it will tell us whether we are in good form or relying on past games.
So here we go with the next 3 games, let's get off to a flying start by beating Manchester United at St Mary's, this is something we have not yet managed since our return to the Premier League in 2012, indeed the last time we managed it was in August 2003 over 17 years ago, it is about time that we celebrated victory at St Mary's against the Red Devils, something we have done only once since we moved to the new stadium.
Photo: Action Images
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