Verdict: Toothless Saints sinking fast
After the 5-0 drubbing away to Hull in our last game, Pearson started cautiously with a 4-5-1, understandable, but perhaps over cautious in such a vital game. It was undone in just six minutes despite our bright start, with Licka going close, leaving that sinking feeling that this was going to be yet another day when we would huff and puff but ultimately get nowhere.
Pearson tried to reshuffle the pack moving to 4-4-2, then 4-3-3, but through a combination of lack of quality and luck we seemed destined not to score. The defence was generally solid with Perry impressing, but it only takes one chance to concede a goal.
Pearson does have some options in the squad with an encouraging cameo from Surman and the return of the shamed Dyer to training after months out injured, two players who can at least create a chance, plus the return of Idiakez to trying and squeeze some final quality out of those creaking legs!
Also encouraging was seeing an actual winger, Hammill, back in the line-up, but it still cannot mask the fact that Saints are not creating or scoring enough to arrest the decline.
The season is not over with fifteen points to play for, but we face being in the bottom three come Tuesday night when Sheffield Wednesday a mere point below play one of their two games in hand. To cap it all we play the league leaders on Saturday, Bristol City, a side showing just what you can achieve on limited resources with a highly motivated team and off the pitch stability.