Saints moved on from the disappointment of midweek in emphatic style by hammering Walsall at St Mary's this afternoon.
Saints 5 - 1 Walsall
After such a miserable, expectation-grounding match against Wycombe, this was the result everyone wanted. Pardew labelled it a 'complete performance' after the game, which Saints won despite falling behind within just four minutes. A first goal for winger Jason Puncheon got the comeback under way, with fellow January signing Lee Barnard recording his second brace in three games to ensure Saints were cruising by half time. Not for the first time this season, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert got themselves on the scoresheet to put Walsall out of sight and secure Saints' biggest win under Pardew.
Speaking to Radio Solent's Adam Blackmore after the game, Pardew seemed reluctant to read too much into the win, and dismissed Dave Merrington's claim that his side are the best in the division when they perform as they did today. His attitude intimated annoyance that good performances are received in such rapturous terms, while games such as Tuesday's are seen as crushingly bad although they represent little more than an off-day. Either way, Pardew is operating in a high-pressure environment at St Mary's and will have been pleased, inwardly at least, with a performance that lifted it a little.
Attention now turns to Tuesday's important clash with play-off chasing Huddersfield, who currently occupy the slot Saints have their sights trained on.
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