A New Year & A Return To Form
Since the FA Cup defeat to Crystal Palace at the start of January, Saints have turned their season around from a possible relegation fight to a very possible top six finish.
They have achieved this with five wins, coupled with a battling draw away at Arsenal.
The fact this this turnaround has occurred with the return from a long term injury to keeper, Fraser Foster, can by no means be mere coincidence. The confidence and mere imposing presence he gives the back three, or four, is as important psychologically as it is physically.
So how long can they keep up their impressive run of clean sheets and positive results?
Chelsea, Bournemouth and Sunderland are up next and a seven point return from them would suffice nicely. After that comes the very important home game against Liverpool, who Saints are vying with for a top sixth, end of season, berth.
I always try to be positive in these columns and I see no reason to change that outlook now. A top sixth finish would be an improvement on last season and would again gain Saints an entry to European competition.
The following players have really shone during this run of great results: Shane Long has run and run and has chipped in with a few goals, James Ward-Prowse has forced me to eat my own words after slating him in my last column, Jose Fonte has been magnificent together with Virgil Van Dyke at the heart of the defence. Also worthy of mention are Clasie, and when playing, Steven Davis.
So let's hope for more success during the run in to the end of the season and aim for an elusive top six finish.
Then as a likely swan song to Koeman's three year reign he can help propel Saints into a top four finish next season.