Saints Facing Three Week Break Monday, 18th Feb 2019 11:51
Saints could be looking at another long enforced lay off after Watford won their FA Cup tie at Queens Park Rangers at the weekend, but will it help or hinder ?
Saints visit to Watford on March 16th will now have to be rescheduled after the Hornets set up a 6th round FA Cup tie date for that weekend with their win at QPR.
That means that after playing Tottenham Hotspur on March 9th the next game for Saints will be on 30th March, three weeks later when they travel to Brighton. This is due to an international break with no Premier League games being played on the weekend of 23rd March.
It is unlikely that Watford would want to bring forward the Saints date to the week before the Cup tie but that could be the only option as we go into the last two months of the season. But that would still leave the best part of 2 1/2 weeks between that game and the trip to Brighton.
But will this help or hinder Saints ?
On one hand it could help them, f it is played before the cup tie perhaps Watford will have one eye on a game a few days later that could see them earn a Wembley semi final, but on the other hand it could snarl up the fixture list later in the season.
There is also the question of it could leave Saints either with a game in hand or playing catch up depending on results from other games, if our rivals lose that weekend thend suddenly we have the psychological advantage, but of they win although we still have the game in hand we have to win it.
On the face of it though it could be a help injury wise, Danny Ings will be key to our survival but he seems to struggle to play more than a few games at a time, this break will have given him a rest, if he can play a big part in the three scheduled games between now and March 16th a three week rest would benefit him.
But the real truth is that our destiny is n our own hands, last season showed that we can play several matches in a short space of time and win games, it's as simple as that we win some games the fixture schedule doesn't matter.
The last lay off where we did not have a game at a weekend did not help us. We picked up 2 points out of a possible 9. Prior to the lay off we had a bit of momentum. To be honest, I am not sure what would help us. At least they cannot complain about having too many games this year. Our ineptness in various competitions put paid to that, but it has not exactly helped us in the league, so the argument that cup competitions get in the way, does not fit with us.
In reality, we should be fit and ready and able to cope whenever we play, and it comes down to attitude, ability and scoring when we have the opportunities and avoid stupid needless errors and making the right decisions and anticipating what is going on during a game. Get all of that right and we'll be fine! Simples!!!!
To be honest, I think Ralph's post match reaction to the Cardiff result indicated that he now thinks he's taken this group of players as far as they can go. In film parlance Escape To Victory is showing signs of becoming Mission Impossible. The frailties in defence have been well-documented by many subscribers to this site and the weaknesses in attack, partly due to injuries, partly due to lack of height and speed and inexperience are plain for all to see. We bought Charlie on the cheap and, apart from a few flashes, it really hasn't paid off. Is Danny worth a similar risk? Does anyone remember our then record signing, David Hirst? Injuries plagued him, too and finished his career. We now again hear the cry promoting the academy as we did in the Poortvliet/Wotte era. It didn't work then and it might not work now. Using the film analogy, watching Saints is rather like Groundhog Day. I just hope the spare time is spent on improving our awful passing and encouraging the players to shoot when they have an opportunity, rather than look to pass to someone else. We won't score more goals than we concede if we don't test the opposing goalkeeper, something we rarely see from our team.
3 week lay-off....good news or bad news?......depends how you see it .
It'll be 3 weeks longer for Danny Ings to get fit and for Bertrand to improve his fitness. More time to look at tactics, videos and a fully-fit squad raring to get back to playing. Our opponents on the other hand will have cup games games to play.. and perhaps even more chances of injuries and fatigue playing an important role..
At a time of the season when some teams start to suffer from having played 35-40 games hopefully our mid-season "pre-season " will give us the edge in the remaining games.
Saints should do everything to push for this game to be brought forward to the midweek after Spurs home because Watford would surely have 1 eye on their Q/Final which would surely help us-3 weeks with no game at this stage of the season is too long.
Agree NewburySaint. Being this close to a chance to get to Wembley and with little or no chance of being in the top 7 or 8, Watford will surely want to go for it in the cup now. I would prefer to play them in the mid-week leading upto their weekend quarter final.
They can't bring the game forward due to the stupid FIFA rules stating that no PL games can be played when CL games are on unless absolutely necessary. Then they go and spread the CL last 16 over 4 weeks ...
Our best performance of the season came three days after 120 mins vs Derby and A1079 rightly points out that long breaks don't seem to help us.
Watford are just the sort of side we should be getting results against - better than us, true, but nothing much to play for. Our record against the three we hope will be relegated is rubbish so we need to win elsewhere.
Our destiny isn't in our own hands Nick, it was a month ago but not now we lie a point adrift of safety which means we need others to lose We threw the chance to get safe away, when we failed to beat Palace Burnley and Cardiff......yes thats right failed to beat those three
Good post halftimeorange. I'm sure he'll be away once our relegation is confirmed. He is not slow at reminding people of the top job offers he'd had before accepting the Saints job.
On the other hand if we do go down his stock will diminish sharply simply because he has been in post long enough to have turned things around and so will be deemed as having failed in the Premier League
I agree with many here that we rarely perform well after an extensive lay off. The Arsenal of today are set up a little differently to the one we out-played at SMS and the combination of these factors could be very bad news for us. The last thing we need for our fragile morale is a heavy defeat but this cannot be ruled out and 0-3 seems to me the most likely outcome.
With Spurs and Man U coming up how are we going to stay in touch if Cardiff keep doing what they have been doing recently. If they beat Brighton on Friday we will be looking at a very long run in to the finish.