Saints V Leyton Orient The Preview
Friday, 8th Apr 2011 09:18
A chance for Saints to take a giant leap forward.
Trips to Leyton Orient are synonymous with promotion, usually promotion to the top flight and in the penultimate game at that, so how apt that as Saints look to move into second place that the ground they can earn three points to do so is Leyton Orient.
Saints eyes will be on Brisbane Road but ears will be to the radio and The Galpharm in Huddersfield as that is a crucial result for Saints season, but first we have to do our own business.
My first hope is that Nigel Adkins doesnt repeat his mistake of earlier in the season when after a poor defensive spell he dropped Butterfield and Harding, replaced them with Richardson & Dickson, saw a dramatic improement in results but them tinkered with the side, the result of which was a mixed bag that could have been worse, football is all ifs & buts, but truth is over the past three months or so we have given away far too many silly goals though individual error, some will point to our admittadbly good goals against record, but I would point to Brighton's and say if we had cut out the mistakes it could have been worth a few more points and the table would look a lot more comfortable.
Team wise i dont think Adkins should look too far different than the side that started on Tuesday night, Stephens may well not be fit but Richard Chaplow is a more than able player who when he finds his form again could make a big difference, alternatively Danny Butterfield might be what we need in the centre.
Big worry will be Lallana and with so many games coming up, will it be wise to risk him tweaking his groin again and possibly being out for the rest of the season, personally i would consider holding him back on the bench if he is available.
Again the real advantage is on the bench, assuming that Lallana did play, Butterfield, Gobern, Connolly, Forte, N'Guessan all impact players and all of whom would walk into Orient's side, on Tuesday Adkins used his subs well although some would say that two were enforced, again if we get into a good winning position his tactical substitutions are going to be crucial not just in holding the lead but making sure we get minutes on the pitch for players that may be needed in the run in and also giving key players a rest.
Like every game Saints are capable of winning this game and winning it well, the main objective now is getting to that finishing line as quickly as possible, the more wins we get under our belt the more pressure it puts on Huddersfield and Plymouth and the more pressure it takes off us.
My two points per game average target is still accurate, in that respect we are ahead of the game after a run of wins at home, but with only three home games left its vital we win a few away as well, the target was 2 points a game giving us 85, now if we keep the points margin up we would end up on 87, winning at Orient would set us up nicely and even if Huddersfield did win and maintained their two goal deficit we have a chance to overtake them again on Tuesday.
At 5pm on Saturday the race for second will be a little bit clearer, in truth in some respects any result in Yorkshire will have benefit for Saints as long as they win in London , a home win would effectively end Peterborough's automatic promotion charge, an away win would keep Posh right up there but running out of games and would hand the impetus to us, whilst a draw would perhaps be best for us in that Peterborough would be virtually out of it and Huddersfield dealt a big blow.
Second place is ours to lose, now is the time for everyone to step up to the plate.
Photo: Action Images
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