Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Relegation race takes shape as Saints slip up again

Saturday’s failure to secure three points at home to a lacklustre QPR outfit means Saints remain entrenched in the bottom three with just eight games left. Just two points adrift – and with a game in hand on most of their rivals – their safety remains in their own hands, but if Saints fail to be more clinical in the weeks ahead survival will look more and more unlikely.

Saints 0 – QPR 0

A gap of three points has opened up between Blackpool in 18th place (46 points) and Plymouth in 19th and it looks as if the bottom spots will be filled by three of that bottom cluster.

Plymouth P39 43pts
Norwich P39 42pts
Forest P39 41pts
Barnsley P36 40pts
Saints P38 39pts
Charlton P38 28pts

Charlton look too far adrift now so it looks likely that those two other spots will be filled by the five teams above them, propped up for the moment by Saints. The run-in has not been kind to Saints, with five of our eight games left away from home (Thanks to the re-arranged Watford fixture). However, that has not made much of a difference for us this season so should not be regarded as too important a factor.

Blackpool A
Charlton H
Watford A
Wolves A
Palace H
Wednesday A
Burnley H
Forest A

Saints should be looking to get points off Watford and Wednesday (who should be a bit safer by then) and Palace and Burnley (who should be out of all reckonings by then). Either way, it is going to be tight and looks sure to go all the way to the final day, where a showdown with fellow-strugglers Forest will make excruciating viewing.

The bottom line is that if Saints underperform as they have done at home in the last two games, they will go down. They need to rediscover the spark which drove them to three wins on the bounce if they are to have any hope and probably look at take 3 wins and 2 or 3 draws from these 8 fixtures if they are to do it. Over to you then, lads.

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