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Apr 16, 2014

Saints have one eye on summer, not Villa?

After last weekend's extremely disappointing home defeat at the hands of Cardiff City, Saints fans and players alike will have been given an unwanted reminder of an earlier disappointing St. Mary's result; the home defeat by Aston Villa.

With that reminder though, comes the immediate opportunity to avenge it as Saints head to Villa Park on Saturday.

This is not going to be an easy game, as it is set up to be a classic end of season encounter. Saints have little to play for other than professional pride, while their opponents find themselves in a position they perhaps hadn't envisaged a few weeks ago. Results really haven't gone their way and now Villa are on the brink of the relegation battle; defeat on Saturday could put them right in the mix.

With backroom upheaval making the news for the Birmingham club too, this could be the ideal time to play them, but Paul Lambert got them out of trouble last season and the Scotsman will be fired up to do the same again.

From a Saints point of view the players owe the fans after last Saturday, at least they should, though I'm not sure that is how professional players think. With the World Cup just around the corner, some of the Saints players are still busting a gut to impress while others, it seems, may have taken their foot off the gas (affected by the Jay Rodriguez injury perhaps?).

There is nothing worse than when a season trails early. Of course I wouldn't rather Saints were in a relegation battle, but there is something anti-climatic about games with nothing riding on them.

On the proverbial paper, Saints should win and win comfortably against a struggling Villa team, but after last Saturday's result I question whether there is any desire left in Saints' team to finish the season on a high. Last weekend should have been a routine win for the home side, but something was clearly missing from the team, be it mentally or physically.

As the media goes into overdrive now the summer is almost upon us, already pretty much all of Saints' team are predicted to be off to better things, and in my opinion some of them certainly will be, but for now the focus should be fully on Saints and finishing with as many points as possible.

Keep the faith.