Saints running out of time

Last updated : 10 March 2008 By Chris C
It is said of the Championship that everyone can beat everyone and that is what has happened for the majority of the season. Unfortunately, over the last ten games the one exception to this rule has been Saints.

With those at the bottom scraping together vital wins Saints have slowly but surely been sucked well into the relegation battle with realisticaly just Leicester between us and the bottom three.

Sheffield Wednesday are three points behind but have two games in hand and have shown that they can win when the pressure is on with their vital victory over QPR at the weekend. Leicester have an equal number of games and are a single point behind.

Under the circumstances a loss would be unthinkable, but it is our home form that has got us where we are in the league. Away Saints have proven battlers scraping together points from a series of draws, but in line with the football cliché you have to win your home games and Saints have failed to do that.

This week Saints have to deal with the likely absence of the talismanic Andrew Davies, plus the frankly shocking stories that have emerged about the alleged behaviour of Dyer and Wright-Phillips.

In dealing with the crisis, Nigel Pearson has emerged with credit once again in his short time at the club and is desperate for a win after stemming the worst of the results and performances, but not the slide down the table.

The only solace to take from this is that Leicester's confidence is as fragile as our own with both clubs believing they should be well clear of relegation but slowly but surely sinking down the table. It will be a nervous night on Tuesday on both sides.

A real concern has been the lack of activity in the loan market which is a clear sign of the financial problems that have beset the club all season following the loss of parachute payments and failure to get investment into the club.

While those around us add to our squad, Saints are still looking short of players and quality all around the pitch with the solitary addition of the now crocked Ian Pearce. A little star quality from the Premiership up front or on the wings would go a long way to giving the place a lift and more belief.

As it is, it looks increasingly likely that we will have to shuffle what players we have and hope that they can fight their way out of trouble and do what they have failed to do nearly all season - hang onto a lead.