Little Steps Again On Saturday At Manchester City
Thursday, 31st Oct 2019 11:41
Some Saints fans were critical of Saints display at Manchester City on Tuesday night labelling it abysmal, I'm not sure what they were expecting from a visit to the Premier League Champions.
Saints travelled to the Etihad on Tuesday on the back of the club's worst ever defeat and with problems in the back four that cannot be solved immediately, so I am not sure what some fans expected from the game.
Many carried on from where they had left off on Friday night and slagged off the players and the performance, but it was never going to be a game where Ralph Hasenhuttl could just click his fingers and suddenly confidence, organisation and quality would be restored, this might not have been a full strength City side, but as was pointed out on Sky Sports by Gary Neville, Manchester City and Liverpool are just about the only two teams that can put out two starting XI of Premier League quality these days.
That meant being cautious then trying to build on that, from this perspective we got it virtually spot on, the first half was played mainly in our own half, but apart from two pieces of lax marking that gifted two goals we stayed tight and everyone including the goalkeeper did their job to make it only a two goal deficit.
In the second half we kicked on and took the game to City in the final quarter and we looked a good side.
Yes we lost 3-1 but the situation is what it is, most Premier League sides would take a 3-1 defeat at City any day of the week, some say our standards have dropped but in most of our trips to the Etihad in the past 15 years we have been beaten by two goals or more, so this was not celebrating not being stuffed, but in the fact that we still had enough character to dig in and get some plus points from the game.
We lost to Leicester because we crumbled after the first goal, just when we needed leadership being a goal or man down, there was no leadership on the pitch we started off again as if it was 0-0 and we were dominating the game with 11 men and suddenly we were 3-0 down with 18 minutes played and in complete disarray, the experienced men did not know what to do so, so how could the rest.
On Tuesday we still had no real leader but we had focus and stuck to our guns so we have to do that again on Saturday.
It will be much tougher they will have a better team out, but so will we, hopefully Ralph Hasenhuttl learn't a few things about his squad in the last two games and will know who he can trust now.
So we need to take a few more little steps on Saturday. we need to see the situation as it is, a defeat is not the end of the World, we get this game out of the way and we can then look to play teams we can beat.
If we are focused then we can achieve a moral victory and build our confidence up a little for the game that really matters against Everton a week later when we need everyone firing on all cylinders including the supporters.
So as much as the team need to take little steps in moving forward, so do Saints fans, we do not have a god given right to win any game, we are where we are due to issues that cannot be solved at least until January, until then we can look to win the games we can win and look to try and sneak something in games we can't.
We support a football club, we have to take the rough with the smooth, if you think this is the worst time ever then you weren't around in the 1990's when every year seemed to be a relegation battle, or the 00's where we slid almost into the abyss.
Clubs that recover do so because they put the past behind them and look to the future and accept that sometimes bad things need to happen in order to get better, in 2009 it was sliding into Administration and being within days of liquidation that made us all realise what the club is all about, lets make the 9-0 defeat that catalyst to kick start our season and make St Mary's a place we can win at again and the players enjoy playing in and the fans look forward to going.
Photo: Action Images
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