Killer instinct required in defence

Last updated : 10 November 2008 By Chris C
With three teenagers and a midfielder in defence in Saturday's defeat to Bristol City, Saints were crying out for the kind of leadership that the veteran defender provides.

Loanee Alex Pearce has impressed with his aggression in central defence, but he would benefit from playing alongside an experienced leader to get the defence organised and concentrating for the full ninety minutes.

While the head is strong, the question is whether the body remains weak with Svensson's troublesome knee fading after an unlikely return to football after five operations. Still dominant in the air, the player was understandably short of mobility, particularly when the strain starting showing after a run of games.

With Chris Perry equally unable to string a run of games together, Saints need to make an important call after assessing Svensson's return to the side. Poortvliet has said he will start when fit, but if he is unable to play more than a handful of games Saints need to consider signing an experienced defender as additional cover.

His knee will face a stern tests in the League with runaway leaders Wolves the visitors with an impressive attack that has seen them score 37 goals already, compared to Saints' meagre return of 15, including just 6 at home.