No Sleep 'til Monday!
No match for Saints on Saturday, and yet I feel more nervous right now than if we were actually due to be playing. The reasons are obvious of course. So much could happen that affects the future of our club and yet we simply have to wait, cheering on teams we don't care about, praying they will inadvertently do us a favour. Personally I'll be pacing up and down the kitchen tuned into 5Live. It's a horrible feeling, and not one i expected to experience while cheering on the Saints in the Championship. We've fallen such a long way I don't think we've all come to terms with it even after all this time. We are a Championship club, with Championship players. Yes we can be well supported when the going is good, but really until this year its been difficult to gauge the size of our hardcore support, because its easy to fill stadiums when you're in the Premier League, somewhere we're not likely to be again for quite some time. Anyway i'm letting negativity take me away from the point of all this. I want to look at the key matches on Saturday and see how the could affect our cause.
1) Barnsley v Charlton
Hmm, a tricky one to call. Apart from one devastating (for us) defeat to Leicester last week Barnsley have been in good nick and have no cup hangover. I personally think they have 'safe' written all over them. They could still go down but I just can't see it. Charlton have more to play for than we might think. Pardew and many of his players are playing to have the privelige of being at The Valley again next season and I think they will give their all to finish the season strongly. However I think needs must, and Barnsley will edge it 2-1.
2) Coventry v Wolves
Another difficult one. Wolves can make the playoffs still and we know what an incentive that can be. Coventry are a good defensive team though. I'm hoping Ebanks-Blake can have another hot game. Wolves to nick it by the odd goal. 1-2.
3) Leicester v Wednesday
The big one!! And i'm not sure what I want to happen. A Leicester win will keep us out of the bottom three. But a vindictive part of me wants Leicester to be the team that take the bullet and go down. If I was an optimist i guess I could take a positive from any result that happens here. Realistically I'm thinking about a late scrambled equaliser for the Owls. 1-1.
4) Norwich v QPR
It's easy to forget that Norwich are still in a scrap. Glen Roeder has improved the side greatly and they'll probably scrape home. I think it'll be on the final day though, because QPR are another improved side with plenty of flair. I think they'll pick Norwich off quite comfortably. 1-3.
5) Plymouth v Blackpool
Really hope and expect Plymouth to win this one. Whatever we think of his tenure at Southampton he's proved he's got what it takes at Championship level. They'll be one to watch next season for sure. Blackpool are in real danger like us, and I think they'll get turned over here 3-0.
Regardless of all this, what we really need are two Saints wins and then nothing else will matter. So keep everything crossed on Saturday that results go for us but don't expect to know how to feel until Monday night. Hopefully we' be celebrating then!