April 13, 2024

The Championship season is nearing its conclusion, as Southampton remains in contention for automatic promotion.

Many consider Russell Martin’s team to be outsiders in the promotion race, since they are now fourth, nine points behind Leeds.

However, with two games in hand on rivals Ipswich Town and Leeds, they still have a strong chance of finishing in the top two.

With the aforementioned pair remaining to play, as well as Leicester, they remain in a strong position in this fantastic Championship campaign.

The top two are expected to end with 99 and 101 points, respectively, thus 98 points would be insufficient to finish inside the automatic slots, which is simply incredible.

With that said, if Saints are to finish the season well and reclaim their spot in the top flight, they will need to rely on seasoned players like Joe Rothwell.

Joe Rothwell pivotal to Southampton’s promotion hopes

Rothwell has made a significant influence since joining on loan from Bournemouth during the winter transfer window, even if it has not always been immediate.

Rothwell has frequently featured off the bench for the Saints, and he has served as a super sub twice in recent weeks.

He scored a brace in a 5-3 win over Huddersfield Town and again in a 4-2 win over Sunderland earlier in the month.

After the Sunderland game, Martin praised the loanee’s finishing ability: “Joe is a terrific finisher. The first appears to be easy, but it is not; it is a half-volley, while the second demonstrates amazing composure.

“He was fantastic when he came on. He and Joe Aribo may be disappointed that they aren’t starting, but they have two players ahead of them who have been playing exceptionally well.”

His ability to come up with big goals, as well as his extensive experience, will be critical coming into the final stretch.

Joe Rothwell’s experience will lend itself well to young Southampton group

Saints sign Joe Rothwell | Southampton FC Official Site

 

Rothwell has made 161 Championship appearances in his career and is a senior part of the Saints locker room.

Southampton is a young team, and earlier this season, Martin picked a starting lineup with an average age of 23 years and six months old, one of the club’s youngest XIs in history, according to Transfermarkt.

As a result, players like Rothwell will be expected to guide and support the young players, who may be under greater pressure from the promotion competition than others.

The 29-year-old may not be a regular starter, but his impact in the final 10 games of the season should not be underestimated.

Rothwell will be incredibly essential for Martin.

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