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Opposing View - Southampton

Opposing View - Southampton
Watford head to the South Coast for arguably one of their hardest games so far against the league leaders. Vital Southampton editor, Abe Hawken, helps us preview the tie.

Coming up from League One, albeit in spectacular fashion, you can't have expected such an impressive start to the season?

We had such a great season last year and I did expect that we'd start well, but I don't think the most optimistic Saints fan would have predicted this start. You can certainly feel the team unity we have on the south coast at the moment and we have a winning mentality. Especially at home, we play such attacking and confident football - I think we'll be hard to beat at home this season.

What were your hopes for the season?

hoped that we would finish in the top half and challenge for the play-off's.

Where do you think the Saints will end up eventually?

There are a lot of strong teams in the Championship this season so I think it will be hard to stay in the position we are now. I think we'll be challenging for the play-off's, but we've had a bad experience (lost on penalties to Derby away and missed out on the final) so the fans and club will be up for it this season.

What do you put Nigel Adkins impressive spell as Saint`s boss down to?

Since Adkins has come to club we've had nothing but success. He has installed a winning mentality and the players have so much respect and love playing for him.

Who`s the key player for you that we should be looking out for on Saturday?

Key man: Adam Lallana. Adam is a fans favourite and his brilliance was highlighted by Premier League interest during the transfer window. He creates a lot of chances and is a constant goal threat... Definitely one to watch.

What are the strength`s and weakness` of the Southampton squad at present?

Current strengths and weaknesses: We have a good strike force but I feel that if injuries came into play then we'd be struggling. David Connolly has had a good start - but I have my doubts that he won't be able to do it all season. I think that the fact that we've had such a good start may raise the expectations of the fans and team - so that could work against us.

Will you be able to keep hold of the likes of Rickie Lambert/Adam Lallana when January comes round? (Lambert recently signed a new three-year contract with the South Coast outfit).

I think that we'll be able to keep hold of Lambert and Lallana. If we continue to play as well as we have been, then they'll stay for sure.

What`s your score prediction for Saturday?

Match prediction: Saints 2-0 Watford.

Writer:Tom Bodell
Date:Friday September 30 2011
Time: 10:50AM

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