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Fulham Defeat Eases Pressure On Southampton
Saturday, 10th Apr 2021 08:41

After an awful run of defeats the more pessimistic Saints supporters were nervously looking over their shoulders and claiming that the St Mary's side were heading towards relegation, but Fulham's last minute defeat has eased pressure on any lingering worries.

The hard fought win over Burnley opened up a 10 point gap between Saints and the 3rd from bottom side Fulham, but there were those who still worried about not only Saints ability to win another game, but Fulham's to be able to win 5.

But those that had been looking at the form tables knew that Fulham's surge had fizzled out and although they looked good in games that wasn't transferring into goals and wins so they were flattering to deceive.

For Saints fans the Fulham V Wolves clash was probably best a draw, a point each would still leave the London side 9 points adrift and for Wolves it would mean they were only level with us on 36.

A win for either side would not be good, it would bring Fulham within 7 points or push Wolves two points ahead of us.

In the end it was a Wolves win, a slender 1-0 victory earned by a goal late into second half injury time and it is a result that although will make things feel a lot more comfortable now, could well be one we regret come the final table.

But for now it does mean that barring a total collapse on our part and Fulham winning virtually every game, we are safe.

The reality is that with only 6 games left and three of those trips to Arsenal, Chelsea & Manchester United plus of course their visit to St Mary's, for Fulham the Wolves game represented a game they really had to win with such a tough run of fixtures remaining.

To overtake us Fulham now Fulham have to win at least three games, probably four and that doesn't look possible touch wood.

They are not yet dead and buried they are only two points behind Newcastle, the team they play at home on the final day of the season, but the Geordies have two games in hand at present.

Likewise West Brom whom we play on Monday night, they too have two games in hand over Fulham and are only 5 points behind, they face us knowing that a win will push them within sight of Fulham and more importantly if Newcastle lose at Burnley on Sunday within 5 points of safety.

From a Saints perspective if Newcastle were to beat Burnley that would deflate the Baggies who would start the game against us 11 points adrift of 4th from bottom and knowing it was really last chance saloon for them, the pressure that would put on them could be too heavy a burden.

But if Newcastle were to lose that would inspire West Brom to haul themselves into a position where they could get a head of steam up and surge to safety on the rails.

So a big weekend in the relegation battle has started and Fulham's loss means that Saints fans can look on without too much worry, the biggest worriers will be Sky TV who with the title race already sewn up would be looking to the bottom three to create some interest on the final day of the season, at present that looks highly unlikely.

Photo: Action Images

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A1079 added 09:20 - Apr 10
Strange feeling as the result does help ease the threat of possibly still being dragged into a relegation battle even though diminished a bit after the Burnley result, but I have to admit, for no logical reason really, but I struggle to like Wolves at all and out of those near the relegation area I would prefer Fulham to survive and Burnley or Newcastle to be dragged in.

Looking at Wolves, I think virtually in every game this season they have come back and scored their goals in the 2nd half.

All that said, bottom line if a result works to the benefit of our team/club then that has to be a good thing though I would always rather not have to rely on other results.

felly1 added 09:30 - Apr 10
That was a devastating defeat for Fulham last night. I can't see them recovering from that to be honest. Good luck to them though as Scott Parker comes across as a much more positive coach than Steve Bruce and Fulham play some nice football.
Just hope Ralph can find that balance between tightening up at the back and conceding less whilst not losing our attacking threat that can pose problems to any team.

underweststand added 10:57 - Apr 10
Watching the Fulham v. Wolves game, you had to feel for the Cottagers who went close on several occasions - only to lose the one point they'd fought so hard for at the death.

They do have some good talent at Craven Cottage, but just can't finish in front of goal.
Good to see Harrison Reed has found himself a regular starting place in the side, and I was very impressed by one of their midfield player, namely Mario Lemina (!).
Several times he tackled back well and made inch perfect crossfield-passes .Ralph might want to take a second look at him before consigning his career to the clubs history books.


SanMarco added 11:03 - Apr 10
It wasn't just the pessimists who were beginning to worry!! We are safe now. There was a moment when Fulham's form looked like the bar might be raised to say 40pts and we looked totally becalmed on 29/30 but not now. I have nothing against long-suffering Newcastle supporters but the two words Mike and Ashley means that I am hoping that Fulham catch them, unlikely now but still possible.

We shouldn't have to be worrying about WBA's frame of mind - we should be good enough to beat them whatever.

TimSaint added 13:05 - Apr 10
Although I love an away day at Fulham, I simply do not want them to stay up.

They regularly field a starting line up that includes 6 or 7 loan players.

It is quite ridiculous that they are allowed to do this (granted only 2 from other Prem teams) and bad for the club and its player development that every game, more than half the starting XI are loans.

Even if they stay up, and despite the wealth of their owners, I very much doubt they would buy more than 2 or 3 of their current loans (Lemina hopefully ?) and would once again get in another full quota of loans.

I don't agree with their strategy, so it's a big 'no thanks' for me.

Wembley76 added 13:51 - Apr 10
I haven't read the article yet...... but just puzzled by the "headlines" for the piece!

Easing WHAT pressure? Seriously, the Team/Club are under no pressure. They are playing well, significantly more skilled/capable/confident than ANY of the bottom three or four sides. Fact!

Will now read the article [and comments] before then turning my thoughts to the upcoming Cup Semi-Final...... now that IS a pressure situation! Two good sides face to face COYRs

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