Defeats either side of the international break have left Saints perilously close to the relegation zone with over a quarter of a season gone. Following encouraging wins against Doncaster and Norwich, the young side have slumped to three-goal reverses against Coventry and Watford.
Coventry 4 – Saints 1
Saints 0 – Watford 3
Coming at the end of an exhausting spell of games, the Coventry game looked like a blip, with a mistake-filled performance costing Saints dear. However, the rot seems to have set in as they resumed their league campaign with a disastrous result at home to Watford today. A superb start to the game went unrewarded, as David McGoldrick missed a penalty in the third minute. Somehow, Watford then took the lead from a set-piece. But Saints continued to press and won another penalty soon after. Sickeningly, Paul Wotton was also unable to convert and it truly felt like it wasn’t going to be Saints’ day. So it proved, with Watford scoring a further couple from set-plays before the break.
The three goal half time lead proved unassailable and Jan Poortvliet will have much to mull over in the coming days. His pre-game target of six wins from the next ten games looks ambitious indeed and the side must pick themselves up for the test of Sheffield United on Tuesday night. This rollercoaster of a season doesn’t look like calming down soon, with Michael Wilde acknowledging in private the urgent need for more experience in the side. Saints were definitely very unlucky, but the season is going to prove tough going if they continue to throw away chances as they did today.
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