Saints will travel to Yorkshire buoyed by a good win last Sunday, which saw them move out of the bottom three.
Make no mistake, if we want that good home win to turn into a great win, Saints must do something that they haven’t managed in a very long time, which is win two league games on the bounce, I expect this pre-Christmas relegation scrap to be exactly that, relegation a scrap between two teams desperate to avoid the dreaded drop come the end of the season.
Sure confidence will be high amongst the Saints faithful as much as it will be high with the players, but we’ve all been there before haven’t we? Played like Trojans one week only to be battered like jumbo sausages the next.
With just two wins all season I really can’t see Huddersfield handing out a battering, the Terriers like Saints have struggled to find any sort of form at home or away for that matter, but the influence of Ralph Hasenhüttl was there for all to see last Sunday.
Even though Saints are away, I expect them to play the same high, fast moving, pressing game, as they did against Arsenal, I expect the Huddersfield players to be nervous and them being at home is I feel an advantage for Saints on this occasion, the Terriers will be expected to go at Saints and get the home support on board early doors.
Of course but they will know how we played, they’d have watched the video this week of Saints winning, they will also know the last they need right now is a Saints high on confidence and determined to put further daylight between them and their opponent. One thing is for sure Hasenhüttl will have the Saints up for it, I am hoping we show no nerves and go for the jugular from the get go, no messing or pussy footing about, we need to get at them and silence the home support early doors by creating plenty of chances, and of course converting one or two would help.
Wins against top six sides are rarer than rocking horse poo for Saints, so we must beat the teams around us, and this game is no different, with only 2 points separating both teams a win is equally important for both teams, but I honestly believe it’s a must win for Saints.
The last two away league results hurt Saints, especially the Fulham game, under the guard and given the time he had with the players before travelling to Cardiff I didn’t expect anything much, but having just listened to Ralph at his presser, saying roughly the same about getting the win last week, and the importance of following that up this, I feel even more confident, the players will be well prepared for the trip up north.
I don’t know what it is yet, but every time I listen to Hasenhüttl it raises my hopes that he will turn this season around, I find him very charismatic, he speaks well and handles the press better than any manager we’ve had since Nigel Adkins. He answers their questions with assurance and confidence, as he did again today. One thing I did pick up on at the presser was that Ralph doesn’t want Mario Lemina going anywhere soon, the same couldn’t be said about Gabbi, I think the Italian will be off to pastures new come January, Ralphs reaction to the question regarding Gabbi and given the rumours Manolo isn’t happy with the new man, it makes me think he’ll be off before we hit February.
So what team will Ralph select? Who knows, but I will make my selection, you never know I might get one right for a change. I cannot see a lot of difference to the team that started against Arsenal, I am not certain Marion is 100% ready for the starting 11 with Macca in goal, at the back its Targett, Yoshi, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Valary, in the middle it will Armstrong, Redmond PEH and Romeu with Ings up, if Lemina is fit he will come in for Romeu, but other than that its an unchanged starting 11 for a change.
All that leaves me to do is to wish those wonderful travelling mushes and mushettes heading this Saturday a safe journey, and of course to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year, let’s hope we all get the things we wish for on Christmas morning, and three points against Huddersfield to get the Christmas period off with a bang.