Monday, 13 April 2009

Back from the brink: could the Great Escape be back on?

After seven matches without a win, Saints at last picked up three points this afternoon in a result that gives the club a fighting chance of survival.

Saints 1 - Crystal Palace 0

It was a massive result. In the first home game following that Charlton horror-show, a creditable 24,000 fans turned up to cheer on Mark Wotte's side, but few carried high hopes of success after a torrid season at St. Marys.

The Wolves result, combined with Nottingham Forest's surprise win on Saturday, looked to have sealed the club's fate and reserves of hope were largely used up by the sequence of seven games without a victory that preceded this result. However, a well-organised Saints side responded to the critics, with Bradley Wright-Phillips leading the line and David McGoldrick getting the goal in a vital win.

The result moves them to within two points of safety, but with just three games left they need to continue winning if they are to pull off what would be an incredible escape. However, Norwich and Barnsley will be feeling the pressure tonight, particularly given the latter's run-in and the fact that Saints and Forest meet each other on the last day.

20 Norwich 43 -8 46
21 Barnsley 42 -14 46
Nottm Forest 43 -18 46
Southampton 43 -19 44

Victory away at mid-table Sheffield United will not be easy, but is now crucial if Saints are to survive; the two final games will be much harder. But it seems the side has come into a bit of form at exactly the right moment. Brace yourselves- the Great Escape could be back on...

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