So after another week of twists and turns in the Championship, the last remaining automatic promotion place comes down to the final weekend after all. Yet let’s get one thing clear, West Ham cannot beat us to second place, we can only lose it.
After being in the top two positions for the entirety of this season, the thought of finishing third after the final round of matches is a horrible one, and I do not share other fans opinions, who say that finishing in the play-off places will be ok, because we would have taken that at the start of the season.
But let’s not dwell on that too much, I have every confidence that the job will be completed on Saturday, and in style, and at approximately half past two we will once again be a Premier League club.
Although sides that have nothing to play for can be dangerous, I think we will have too much for them, and with two wins against them already this season (both at the Ricoh) we should have nothing to worry about.
There have been some classic home games against Coventry over the years, and in the eighties the two clubs were involved in two 10 goal thrillers. In 1982 the match ended in a 5-5 draw, yet two years later Saints would run out 8-2 winners, something like that would be fantastic on Saturday, just not the 5-5 draw, I do not think my heart could take it.
Obviously, being realistic we are extremely unlikely to score 8 goals on Saturday, but so long as we are more than 1 goal ahead going in to the final minute I will be happy. The amount of late goals we have been conceding lately is a worry, and it will not do Saints fans pulse rates any favours knowing that West Ham are winning handsomely at home to Hull, and that a late Coventry equaliser would swat us down to third place.
On Saturday morning I will take comfort from knowing that when it usually comes to a big final day game where we need to get a result, we usually do (2005 excepted). But going into the final game of the season, knowing that a win will see us promoted is a new experience for a lot of fans who still have fresh memories of all those final day relegation scraps at The Dell.
To me, this forthcoming match does seem to feel almost like a playoff final in itself, and whatever happens, one way or another, the Saints players know that they will be making headlines on Saturday.