April 22, 2024

Southampton failed to close the distance to the top two over the weekend.

Russell Martin’s side led for the majority of the game against Middlesbrough on Friday afternoon, but were handed a crushing blow in the 90th minute when Emmanuel Latte Lathe equalised for the visitors.

Che Adams missed a few good chances and had an off day, but Martin was ready to shift the responsibility away from his striker while speaking after the game.

“He will be frustrated because he did not score, but that is what occurs when we are human. He was not the reason we didn’t win; we still need to defend correctly,” the Saints manager stated.

Following the disappointing stalemate, Southampton are still nine points behind second place with two games remaining, putting their automatic promotion chances in jeopardy.

EFL commentator Sam Parkin reiterated that sentiment, outlining what they must accomplish to finish in the top two.

Sam Parkin remains hopeful of Southampton’s automatic promotion hopes

Former St Johnstone and St Mirren striker Sam Parkin reflects on his time  in Scotland and discusses new punditry career | The Scottish Sun


After a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s, many believed the Saints’ automatic promotion aspirations were ended, but Parkin disagrees.

“Leicester dropped points and Leeds dropped points and Southampton didn’t win but nothing has changed for Southampton other than there’s one less game to play,” remarked the former Swindon Town forward.

“They’re still nine points behind the top two, which was the case before this round of games. They still have away trips to Leeds on the last day and Leicester and Ipswich on Monday.

“So, while Saints fans will be unhappy, and yes, it could have gone better, nothing has changed, the gaps are the same, and the purpose is the same.

“Southampton need to have a hell of a run through until the end of the season and they probably need to beat two of the three teams in the top three they’ve got away games against.”

Southampton can still finish in the top two

As Parkin correctly stated, Southampton’s position has not changed at all. They’ve made a point against Leicester and matched Leeds’ result, so they have everything to play for as the season comes to a close.

With Ipswich on Monday and Leicester and Leeds remaining to play, they have a chance to get back into contention.

Martin, speaking prior to the Boro game, believed that many had written them off, but he seemed to embrace the idea.

“We need to take care of ourselves. “The beautiful thing for us is that everyone has written us off,” the 38-year-old stated on Thursday.

Southampton will remain underdogs in this fantastic automatic promotion race, but that is far from a bad thing.

The focus will be on the leading trio at the summit, allowing Saints to go about their job quietly.

While Friday’s result was clearly not ideal, the aim remains the same; yet, they cannot afford to lose at Portman Road on Monday.

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