With Pards losing lots of sleep over our current downward slippage, he's now got to plan how to avoid another embarrassing defeat with a Saturday visit to the south coast. And before you try telling yourself that another defeat is unthinkable, perhaps we should all be prepared for the worst, as the team make their claim to an anonymous midtable berth by losing yet again.
Because the truth of the matter is that Southampton are one of our bogy teams, and victory on their ground has never been easy. Just to give everybody a better chance they moved out of the cramped and imposing Dell to their spacious new ground, St. Marys, in August 2001 but unfortunately the Addicks haven't improved on their visits and if we had little luck when visiting the old Dell we've had none at all at St. Marys. We've been there 4 times with 2 0-0 draws and 2 defeats with just 2 goals scored.
And at the moment it seems that everybody else is coming into form just when the Addicks roll up because the Saints are another team improving after a poor start. A miserable beginning of the season seems to have been strangely forgotten after the 1-5 thrashing at the hands of lowly Preston. Since then, in three short weeks, things have definitely turned around and they're won 3 and lost just 1, that being at 2nd placed Bristol City, where they lost 1-2. Seven goals have been scored in the wins over West Brom, Cardiff and Burnley and although they have the unique record of conceding the most goals both at home and away in the Fizzies they can also find the net at the other end as only one team, West Brom has scored more.
And, just like Plymouth last week, they have an amazing list of players that will trouble Pards in his pre-match tactical talk. Better stick to the numbers then. Just watch out for numbers 8, 9 and 31 that's all I have to say.
What the Saints fans chant is anyone's guess with the likes of Bartosz Bialkowski, Inigo Idiakez, Alexander Ostlund, Grzegorz Rasiak, Youssef Safri, Marek Saganowski, Rudi Skacel, Jhon Viafara and Gregory Vignal to name but a few. But they've also got a few easy names to conjure with such as someone called Jason Euell! He's only scored once so far but expect that to increase come the weekend..
As a team they've scored 24 times in the fizzies, 7 more than we have and scored three goals on no leass than 4 occasions....and as you would expect it's the Number 9, all 6'3" of him, the Pole Grzegorz Rasiak, that's scored the most with 5 so far. And, of course, he's the player that Pards' is rumoured to be chasing so he, for one, will be keen to impress . There's also the Trindad star Stern John on 4 and Ian's son Bradley Wright-Phillips on 3.
The last time we won in Southampton was 1988, a 1-0 victory in the old First Division although a repeat of that scoreline does seems unlikely as Southampton have scored at least once in all of their 14 games so far this season......