As many have commented already, the pressure is well and truly on to get a result Sunday.
Taking six players out from the team that drew with Leicester and discarding the chance to make it to a cup quarter-final has left Nuno in a tough spot.
The plan to keep things tight and introduce better players later in the game didn’t work and I think it’s right to question such a reactive approach.
You need only look at how long it’s been since we’ve scored the first goal in a league game to realise we’re not doing nearly enough, early enough to really give ourselves a chance of winning games.
If the lads aren’t quicker out of the blocks Sunday, the reaction among supporters won’t be kind.
There’s no doubt Southampton were the better team last night and good luck to them in the competition. They’ve got a great chance of making the semi-finals.
But as bad as we were, I didn’t think they were particularly great.
My feeling was if Nuno had been more decisive at half-time rather than waiting until we were chasing the game, things might have gone differently.
But while we had a hapless front three on the pitch and they had Danny Ings, it felt like only one team was likely to cease the initiative.
Armstrong, Romeu and Ward-Prowse are good players and they gave our midfield the runaround. We must do better on Sunday.
Defensively, I always feel like they can be got at, as many teams have shown recently on their five game losing run in the league.
They’ve been reasonably good at home this season and coupled with our poor away form, they’ll fancy their chances of completing a quick-fire double.
From what we’ve got I think this is the strongest XI we could deploy on Sunday.
Kilman hasn’t done much wrong, but I would have Saiss in the team for his goal threat at set pieces.
We could do with Willian Jose producing the goods now and I’ve got a feeling this might be his game, particularly if we can get Traore and Neto into the right positions.
On a complete tangent, what has happened to Ruben Neves’ free-kicks? I can remember at least four or five really good positions in recent weeks and he’s either hit the wall or skied all of them.
For a team that’s shy on goals we have to maximise all opportunities and our set pieces have been pretty rotten most of the season.
Last time out
We won this fixture last season after a remarkable second-half comeback including two Raul Jimenez goals.
Interestingly, 9 of the 11 players who started that game for us could be on the pitch Sunday, which again underlines how much we’re missing or number 9.
Well done to Sea Pigeon who scored a maximum by correctly predicting the nil nil with Leicester last time out.
MILDENHALL WOLF is still out in front in the overall table at the end of Gameweek 23.
As always if you’d like to join in, simply leave your prediction for this game in the comment section below, which is where you’ll find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!