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West Bromwich Albion 0 v 0 Southampton

Sunday, 12th May 2024 Kick-off 14:15
Southampton At West Bromwich Albion The Play Off Preview
Saturday, 11th May 2024 16:04

Most pundits are predicting a Saints V Leeds final at Wembley, but the Baggies will have something to say about that and our two victories over them in the regular season now count for nothing as we travel to the Hawthorns of the semi final first leg.

Saints now have the chance to put right all those dropped points and shoddy defending that ultimately cost us dearly in the Championship regular season, Russell Martin, now has the chance to show that he has learned much from the last 46 League games and is now ready to get his side over the line in the play offs.

That means putting out a side on Sunday afternoon that is very similar to the one that beat Leeds and that when making substitutions it is about improving the side and brining on fresh legs rather than making changes for changes sake.

I still maintain that we have the best squad in the division both in terms of quality and quantity and that has been the problem, it has been too easy for Russell Martin to make changes rather than keep faith with players.

We should go to the Hawthorns with confidence, firstly no side in the play offs has a better record than us in the last 6 or 7 games, secondly at Leeds we found our belief again and we found our organisation and spirit.

If we do more of the same at the Hawthorns then we have the chance to get a result.

So for me as I said in an earlier article this week, it is about keeping it simple so that everyone knows their job, it is about playing the best players in positions that are best suited to them and it is about changing little from the team at Leeds.

The reason we have been vying for promotion is that for 22 games we had the consistency needed and were the best side in the division, then we tore it all apart through tinkering.

West Brom will not be an easy game, they faltered in the final run in and like ourselves suffered 3 straight defeats before winning the final game of the season, they will be buoyed by the fact that they are still in the mix, but they are there for the taking, if we play our best it is better than there best, the table doesn't lie.

So Southampton expects that every Saints player will do his duty and that if we don't win at the Hawthorns that we are still in with a chance at St Mary's, leadership comes from the top though and hopefully Russell martin will prove that over the next two weeks.

Photo: Action Images

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darthvader added 17:32 - May 11
I dont care about the final at this stage , the only thing that matters is getting the results against Westbrom ...lets go there and put in a good performance against tough opponents,win and take that confidence into the next game

Colburn added 23:40 - May 11
Don’t agree with your summary of the season, so I don’t think tomorrow is about ‘putting things right’. 87 points enough for automatic in 2012, don’t recall you bemoaning Adkins, in fact nothing except high praise. Your view on Martin is so childish it’s embarrassing. Same to those who call for Martin to go, 7 year old mentality.
We didn’t have the best team in the league, Leicester did and they cheated. We lost our star signing all season but these facts somehow escape your analysis as it doesn’t suit your rhetoric.
Full support to Russell and the lads, unlike this author!

saintmark1976 added 07:35 - May 12
Unfortunately Colburn it’s now 2024 not 2012 hence your comment is not really relevant to our current situation. Put simply, Nigel did what was necessary to get us promoted automatically and Russell hasn’t.

I’ve disagreed with Nick on many things over numerous seasons but he’s quite correct in saying today and Friday are opportunities for Russell to put right the failings of the season just past.

With respect to you, calling those with a view contrary to yours 7 year olds is a little over the top.Perhaps it was a remark instigated by pre match never ahead of today’s game ?

In any event, let’s all hope that by five o’clock this evening we are one step nearer to a return to the Premiership.


saintmark1976 added 07:38 - May 12
Should have said pre match nerves, which is probably what I’m suffering from hence the omission.

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