|Southampton 0 v 0 Newcastle United|
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 27th October 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Saints V Newcastle United The Preview
Friday, 26th Oct 2018 09:35
Are there any more pessimistic supporters than Saints fans ? the answer is yes and they are arriving at St Mary's on Saturday, we think we have things to moan at cheer yourself up and speak to a member of the Toon Army.
Mark Hughes & the Saints players have said some fancy words this season, but those words need to be put into action and this is perhaps going to be looked back on as the most important game of the season come May, if Saints win then we will push up into mid table, lose and it doesn't bear thinking.
The draw at Bournemouth last Saturday showed that there is little difference between the Cherries in sixth and every club below them in the Premier League, f there was one difference between the sides last Saturday though it was belief, they believed they could win and we at this moment in time don't !
The fact that we could still easily get a point shows that we still do have a lot more about us than many would say.
We have to find that belief and that comes from every inch of the club, at the moment the fans are negative and that doesn't help, no it's not the supporters fault that the team is playing badly, but supporters change games they change seasons, its fine to spend hours moaning on social media, but we supporters have to change the direction of this season, we have to get the belief we can win and we have to transmit that to the players.
I'm sorry if some fans will now rant about how it isn't their fault, the club is rotten to the core etc etc, but the mire we are in is more important than that, we all have to kick in the same direction and pull ourselves clear.
So lets transmit belief to the players, they want to win games, none of them can be accused of not trying, everyone of them deserves total backing on Saturday from the stands, it's time to help them become heroes not scapegoats.
Having asked the fans to do their bit it's now down to Mark Hughes to do his, he needs to get his players focused and firing on all cylinders.
I don't think he will set the team up much differently from last week at Bournemouth, a rare clean sheet was down to a solid back four and I think he will stay with those on duty at the Vitality.
Similarly in midfield, if he is going to stick with four then Hojbjerg is a given and Lemina if fit is quality, out wide Nathan Redmond is in form and last week showed he can create a chance not least the peach of a cross for Gabbiadini in the last minute.
On the other side Hughes has to think a little if there is better, Elyounoussi is a good player, but he has not shown it in anything other than short bursts yet, this could be a game that he could shine in.
Up front Danny Ings is the main man, it is only a question of who will partner him up front, Shane Long looked lively when he came on last weekend and prior to his injury he had formed a good partnership with Ings, yes he is not scoring but Long's game was never about goals, it has always been about creating for other players and he did that for Armstrong on Sunday.
This is the fine line that Saints tread, we should have been talking about the great knockdown from Long for Armstrong's opener and the peach of a cross from Redmond for the second, instead we are still sweating and looking nervously over our shoulders.
On Saturday we have to go out and banish those nerves, our problems are all about belief in the main and the manager finding the winning combination we really need to find both fast starting with Newcastle.
Speaking of which they will be no mugs, their last two games have seen them play well but in many respects mirror Saints, against Brighton last week they dominated the game with 66% possession and 26 shots but the Seagulls scored with one of only two attempts on target and as they did at St Mary's mugged the home side and these two games are why Brighton are 12th and not 16th.
The game before in their last away game Newcastle took a 2-0 lead at Manchester united before succumbing 3-2.
Make no bones Newcastle are not as bad as some would make out, they suffer from the same issues as Saints and if you think Saints are rotten to the core speak to a Newcastle supporter, they would say we are lucky.
I think Saints can win this, I believe we can win it and on Saturday I will be trying to help our players do that, whether it is Jack Stephens or Danny Ings I wan't them all to do well, I want them to succeed I believe they can.
This is not happy clapping it's just called supporting your team ! We used to do it in the old days !
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