The window approaches

It's hard to believe that we're 17 games in to the season already, when it feels like only yesterday I was talking about my expectations for Southampton this season.

The window approaches

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December 20th, 2012

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Those expectations, as with any newly promoted team, were for Saints to survive. As we approach the half way point in the Premier League season, Southampton are well placed to achieve that objective.

It did take a while to get off the mark and secure that first win of the season – and admittedly we have shipped a lot of goals too. But encouraging signs have been shown in the attacking department, and Southampton have shown they can score against the best defences the league has to offer.

A lot of people forget that most of the Saints players started the campaign without any Premier League experience, and neither did manager Nigel Adkins. Players and managers alike need time to adjust to life playing a higher standard of football, to playing different ways and especially in an environment where the margins for error are so much smaller.

Recently, Southampton have fared better in the defensive department, conceding fewer goals and putting together a decent run of form in which they have only lost once in the last six games. The introduction of Luke Shaw at left back has gone a long way to strengthening the flank, as the latest product of the Southampton academy shows he can mix it with the ‘big boys’ despite still only being 17 years of age.

As the January transfer window looms closer, the Saints must look to identify more quality defensive options that can add strength and much needed depth to that area of the field. At this stage of the season and with Premier League status at stake, potential targets should already have experience of playing at the top league. Southampton need a player that can fit in and hit the ground running, they don’t need someone who will need time to adjust to the physical demands of England’s top division.

A difficult month approaches and chairmen face the delicate balancing act of spending enough money to stay up, whilst trying to avoid transfers that could cripple them if the gamble fails come July…

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