May 25, 2024

Southampton overcame Watford 3-2 at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon after a dramatic late comeback.

Russell Martin’s side advanced to 81 points, closing the gap on Leicester City, Ipswich Town, and Leeds United, all of whom failed to win.

Remarkably, their automatic promotion ambitions remain alive, and if they win their two games in hand on Leeds, they will be equal on points with them.

Despite winning three points against Watford, Martin was less than thrilled with his team after the game.

Russell Martin frustrated at Southampton players

Martin was overjoyed that his team had scored the winning goal, but he wasn’t shy about expressing his frustration with one aspect.

“Watford are playing freely and for Tom (Cleverley). They have a lot of good players, but we got out of it. “We can’t afford it, and we do it too much,” the 38-year-old explained.

“I’m frustrated by some of this. I’m very happy with their attitude, guts, and will to win, but you can’t surrender two goals at home after leading 2-0. We must put a stop to this insanity.”

The Saints have struggled defensively for much of the season, and that trend continued on Saturday afternoon.

It almost cost them, and Martin is correct; it simply must continue or they will end up throwing away too many points to close the gap on the three sides above them.

Southampton are still in Championship automatic promotion race

Southampton FC on X: "A thing of beauty 😍 Our first outing in the new home  kit ❤️🤍 https://t.co/XIPt3brQvI" / X

 

After losing to Ipswich Town and drawing 0-0 at Blackburn Rovers, most people assumed Southampton were consigned to a play-off campaign, including Martin.

But, all of a sudden, two wins in a row, and they’re right back in the mix, with their opponents faltering.

The South Coasters are eight points behind league leaders Ipswich Town, but they have two games in hand, which means they might drop two points if they can put together a run.

Furthermore, they still have Leeds and Leicester to play, so they have a chance to make up the points gap.

Southampton are next in action on Tuesday evening, hosting Preston and North End, who have a slender chance of making the play-offs.

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