Adkins could not have asked any more of his team. (©PAphotos)
by Neale Adams
, read by 320 people.
11/1/11 could prove to be a defining moment in Southampton’s League One promotion attempt. The 6-0 demolition of Oldham on their own soil has meant that, at the half way point of their season, Saints sit in second place three points behind leaders Brighton who have played one game less.
You would imagine that had this sort of half way standing been offered at the start of the season the proverbial hand would have been well and truly bitten off. Having been hovering around the upper mid table area just five games ago makes their recent run of form even more impressive.
With Brighton having achieved 43 points from their 22 games to date, they would appear to be heading for an end of season points total in the region of 90. This is now where Nigel Adkins will probably be looking to be come five o’clock on the afternoon of May 7.
To get to this sort of position, Southampton will now need to be targeting a total of 11 points from every group of five games.
Looking at the next five this appears eminently possible. Saturday sees a clash of the two in form teams in the division when Notts County visit St Mary's.
Paul Ince has seen his side collect exactly the same number of points as Saints from their last six matches with both sides winning four and drawing and losing one in that time. That said, having won by three goals to one in the away fixture, anything less than a home win will be a disappointment to Adkins and Co.
After the visit of County, Southampton travel to Tranmere and Exeter before possibly the most tricky tie of this group of five when Peterborough host Saints in a Saturday tea-time match. This spell of three successive away matches is then ended with Carlisle’s long trip down to the South Coast.
If three of the 11 points are collected this coming Saturday and further wins are targeted against Tranmere and Carlisle, just two points will then be needed from the trips to Exeter and Posh.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.