Writer: Daniel Bailey
Date:Wednesday February 11 2009
Saints' legend Matthew Le Tissier has stated that relegation to League 1 would be a disaster for his former club.
The 40-year-old knows exactly what it takes to beat the drop, having played over 500 games for Southampton, featuring in a number of relegation battles in the process.
Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, he said, "It would be hugely damaging, I think it would be sad for the entire city if we were playing in League 1."
If you look at the league table, that disaster could soon become a reality, with Saints struggling in in The Championship, sitting second bottom and 2 points adrift from safety.
"Obviously looking at the league table at the moment, it's a pretty scary thought," said Le Tissier.
"It's an unusual position to be in because the history of this club over recent seasons means we shouldn't really be there."
Saints only narrowly avoided relegation last season, with a dramatic final day victory over Sheffield United. However, Le Tissier has his doubts as to whether Saints can battle their way to safety for a second consecutive season.
"Last season was bad enough, but at this point in time it's looking like we'll be quite fortunate to make a last day scenario again." said the former England striker.
Le Tissier, or Le God as he is known to Saints' fans, was part of the Dave Merrington side that avoided relegation on the final day of the 1995/96 season.
"I remember that being the most tense battle I was involved in. It went down to the last day against Wimbledon at the Dell and I think we all really fancied our chances," said Le Tissier.
"But the game was dour, it was 0-0, but right until the last minute knowing that any shot Wimbledon had that went in would result in relegation wasn't a very pleasant feeling."
If Saints are going to survive this season, it is up to the current squad to show they have alot of character during the final 15 games of the season, something that Le Tissier believes this young Southampton side are capable of doing.
"It's something that we've thrived on in the past," added Le Tissier.
"When you've got a squad that probably isn't as good as everybody elses, the one thing you can compete with is team spirit.
"It can make a difference and that's the one big factor in all the relegation scraps we had," he said.
Date:Wednesday February 11 2009
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