For a team that was the clear favourites to win League One just six weeks ago, four points from six games and a current residence within the relegation zone just does not add up.
The situation for Southampton after match three, a 4-0 away win at Bristol Rovers, didn’t actually look that bad and many people would have expected the improvement to have continued with three points at home to Rochdale and four points from this week's trips to Swindon and Milton Keynes.
What specifically happened in the aftermath of the victory in Bristol which resulted in Alan Pardew losing his job is only known by a few and must now be seen as irrelevant if the expected promotion push is to materialise.
There is a new manager at the helm and his job is to organise the same players that were at the club three weeks ago into the team that threatened to be at that time.
For promotion to be ‘on course’, the expectation would have been to have a current points total in the region of 12. This time last season Southampton sat on minus six points. By the end of the season they were 13 points away from automatic promotion to the Championship.
This means that, to ensure the target remains achievable, now is the time to start cutting the deficit.
Before the start of the season, it was obvious to most that there was little cover for injuries to the three forwards and that ‘weakness’ has been shown during the opening stages of the season.
Had two goals been scored in each match the record would now read P 6, W 4, D 2, L 0. This would put them clear by two points at the top of the table.
Whilst the lack of cover up front remains, the chances are being created so it is by no means an impossible task that Nigel Adkins has over the next few weeks.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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