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Saints Need To Build On Run Of Draws
Tuesday, 20th Nov 2018 10:39

Saints can travel to Fulham with a little bit of confidence after losing only once in the last four games, compared to the home sides straight six Premier League defeats.

According to sarcastic media Saints have not a cat in hells chance of winning at Fulham, nor for that matter ever again, however the picture although bleak is not as bleak as some would have you believe.

In the last four Premier League games Saints have notched up three draws and lost only the once and in that game against Manchester City although yes we were poor, the result wasn't much worse than that achieved by other recent visitors to the Etihad stadium of late.

Of course the results have been disappointing but in the last four Premier League we do have something we can build on, the draw at Bournemouth was promising, the Cherries are going well in 6th place and with a decent home record it was never going to be easy, yet we got that draw with ease and with a little better luck and finishing it could have been a win.

The home draw against Newcastle was disappointing, however it should be noted that in the run up to that game the Toon had been threatening a revival and have since won the next two games propelling them up the League so perhaps offers us hope that we can turn the corner.

The aforementioned City game was a disappointment and a shambles, but the reality was that we still only dropped three points the same as we did last year and the sames as every other visitor to the Etihad.

The Watford game was always going to be difficult, after all they are now on exactly the same points as Bournemouth only prevented from being sixth on goal difference, it was never going to be the easy fixture that some thought it was, yet we deserved to win and were robbed of that by a poor refereeing decision.

But the reality is that one defeat in four is a base to build on, it shows that we can compete with other teams, but of course we can't seem to close out the win just yet and that is something that we need to do.

So we can go to Fulham with some sort of confidence, they are in disarray after those six straight league defeats including losses against fellow strugglers Cardiff and Huddersfield with their only win coming back on August 26th, indeed 4 of their 5 points came in the first 4 games of the season and their only other point was back on 22nd September.

So why should we fear travelling to West London on Saturday, we have the foundations to build on, they have only defeats, indeed perhaps the only glimmer of hope they have is that they have changed their manager and Claudio Ranieri will be taking his first game in charge.

But will this improve them, yes Ranieri has a track record in managing in the Premier League. his Premier League title win was breathtaking, but countering that the following season he was sacked with the club just one point above the relegation zone after 25 games.

Of course changing a manager can often give a club an initial boost, but not as often as you would think, all of the three relegated clubs had sacked their manager by the first week of January, yet it did not help their cause, likewise Mark Hughes lost his first three Premier league games in charge of Saints.

So although Fulham will hope that a change will benefit them, it is far from guaranteed, especially when the previous manager Slavisa Jankovic was clearly a popular man at Craven Cottage having built them into a side that could gain promotion to the Premier League, as much as Ranieri could motivate the squad, he could also face animosity from those close to the previous manager.

I know this story will face criticism from those who feel that the club is rotten to the core and for whom everything is a negative, but if we are to get out of trouble there has to be a positive vibe created,from a footballing perspective the team has to be supported even by those unable to back the "club" we can either drag ourselves down in negativity or try and take the positives and build on them.

Draws are not great but they are better than defeats yes we have to start winning and it would be ideal if that was on Saturday at Fulham, but there is still a long way to go this season, it might be one of struggle but we need to all kick in the right direction, ask ourselves where we want to see the club next season and how best to help the club achieve that.

Photo: Action Images

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Braveheart added 11:10 - Nov 20
Another load of rhetorical bollocks

DorsetIan added 11:33 - Nov 20
I do admire your 'glass half full' attitude and I'm all for accentuating the positive but come on: " defeat in four is a base to build on..." - I don't think so!

Rephrase it as '3 points from the last 12 is a base to build on" and then how does it sound?

I have seen one or two good performances from individual players in recent matches but nothing to suggest that the team as a whole are heading in the right direction. No green shoots of recovery that I can see.

I hope you are right and I am wrong.

SonicBoom added 11:53 - Nov 20
Braveheart? Why? Most of it makes perfect sense. Only thing I'd have issue with is I don't think there was anyone who thought that playing Watford would be "easy".

landerwal added 13:54 - Nov 20
I agree that a draw is good, with Saints, even better, nicking all three points like so many teams have done to us in the past two seasons. Apparently Ranieri impressed the board at his job interview by detailing everything that was wrong with the way Fulham were playing. Hopefully he will get the player's backs up by changing things too much together with a lack of tact, that will be to Saint's advantage.

SanMarco added 19:11 - Nov 20
I don't hear 'rotten to the core' as a big criticism - more that we aren't very good. Hoping to build on 3 pts from 12 is what a team that isn't very good does. Rexit, as we now call it, will pay no dividends until a (better) replacement is appointed and is given money to spend. It is up to the current squad to squeeze some points out of a very difficult fixture list until the end of the year. Saturday would be the ideal place to start.

Fulham are on my list of the only four that might possibly come below us. We should be capable of winning there but there's been lots of 'shoulds' amd 'musts' in the past couple of years and they have led to an incredibly low number of wins...

1970 added 19:39 - Nov 20
arguably our best result last season was the cup win away at high flying Fulham as they were then, now that is something to aim for coyr

davidargyll added 07:05 - Nov 21
Hmmm. Ok I guess. But there’s one huge error here.
A draw maybe better than defeat but NB one WIN is better than two draws and a defeat.
Which would you prefer?

skiptonsaint added 11:24 - Nov 21
If we win I do think that puts quite a gap between us and Fulham and stops them getting on a roll.
If we lose we could be joint bottom and surely that’s the end of Hughes
In a way what I don’t want is an encouraging performance and draw as that could keep him in the job like it did with MP last season where he got just good enough results in key games.

We then have a nasty couple of games and I fear we will all be so down with the situation the negative spiral will suck us down. Other clubs around us stand more chance of getting home wins now ie Cardiff.

Sometime very soon we need a great performance or else I am not buying the good set of players line.


underweststand added 15:10 - Nov 21
You covered a lot of issues in the article Nick, but bullding on a run of draws might sound plausible - if it were not that so many of those draws were at home. A point from an away game maybe acceptable , but the real truth of the pudding is that home fans see the points being lost in every game, and have done so for much of the last two seasons since Koeman jumped ship.

I have a lot of respect for those hardy fans to go to all away games, and are often loudly heard (on TV) at away grounds, but our home results are utterly despicable. This season alone we have already lost 14 points.. AT HOME.
Every away point is a good point in many respects, but this season has already gone down as our worst start since the Prem. was created. Draws are simply - not enough. ..even if they were... 38 points is no guarantee of survival in this League.

Either we have a good squad who have been through a rough patch with bad luck, or short of a miracle recovery , they are clearly nowhere near the standard required for the bottom end of the Prem. At best, we must hope that there will be 3 teams worse that us -come May next year, at the moment - Sadly ..... I'm beginning to doubt it .


SaintBrock added 15:25 - Nov 21
There is nothing to build upon, Nick. Saints under Hughes stutter from one shambolic, unpredictable performance to another of similarly clueless ineptitude with no sign of the process ending anytime soon.

This is a game Saints must win but we know they won't.

JimmyMeliaPhD added 10:50 - Nov 22
The articles on this site are sounding more and more desperate! If only the players would emulate that desperation!

warrens76 added 09:24 - Nov 23
In any business if you invest less than your competitors and have no desire to compete with them in a growth market you will fail the only debatable fact is when not if.

No club has a nett investment lower than us over FIVE years running, no club has taken 92 million of player profits and not reinvested every penny and MORE.

How many managers must we go through we 'lost' Roko which along with selling Mane and Pelle handed Puel a poisoned chalice, the fans anger was vented on him when he did not create all his problems, although the alienation of Fonte and the unnecessary changes did no one any favours, as for subbing Gabbi at Wembley that was madness, from then on and the dire performances sealed his fate, he though was not the cause of our problems, Pellegrino extended these inadequacies to horrific levels but again the real problems lay above, what do the board then do, appoint Hughes who had just 'effectively' relegated another team, I mean come on.

I used to love talking tactics albeit with very limited knowledge, discussing the what might have happened if decision xyz had gone our way, or the want of just one clinical finisher to turn almost successful into actually winning something...... though we are so far, far away from a quality team because of a purposefully introduced, short term, get Kat's money out at all costs business model.

Supporting the team becomes increasingly polarised for many as it also keeps in place a loathsome establishment, remember 'together as one'.....that is impossible when the supporters and board are not unified, indeed the players just become the piggy in the middle.

schatfield added 15:33 - Nov 23
0-0 it is then....

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