THERE WAS A TIME when many clubs would see the visit of Southampton as a great opportunity for three points but Gordon Strachan's Scottish spirit has added a resolve to the team as he still seeks players for bargain prices, often from the lower reaches.
No-one works harder than Gordon in doing the miles to get a font of knowledge of players in the lower leagues.
Last year, on moving from Coventry, he had faith in both Paul Telfer and Paul Williams to take them aside and place them straight into the Southampton team and he told me, when he came to watch Watford play Tottenham in a pre-season friendly at Watford, that he was absolutely delighted with both players, particularly Telfer, who is such a reliable player. He is a player I had at Luton who came from Scotland as a schoolboy.
From the lower leagues, Gordon last year added a young centre-back from Torquay, Monk, who has yet to gain a first team spot while up front he took Brett Ormerod from Blackpool to add to the speedy Pahars, the strong Beattie and Davies, who made the move back from Blackburn.
Perhaps the star in his stable is Wayne Bridge, an exciting left-back who our manager feels has the quality and speed of foot to eventually gain regular England status. It was a close run thing with Ashley Cole to get the spot in the World Cup.
I'm sure the game will be a close one but buoyed by our result at Charlton we will be looking for a three-timer and could it possibly be another clean sheet? It is an opportunity but like on all such occasions, anything can happen and you have to take the opposition very seriously. For example, how could Bradford win at Ipswich last week or, indeed, Birmingham be leading Everton 1-0 or Sunderland winning at Leeds 1-0? Football has a habit of playing tricks at the best of times but early in the season, sometimes the results are quirky as players settle into a recognised system or formation.
Positive points from Saturday's game would be the continued centre-back pairing of Richards and Gardner as we wait for Ledley King to get fit and Christian Ziege continuing as an orthodox left-back whereas his whole career has been spent as an attacking wing-back.
With the break because of internationals in the coming week, three points are vital for any team this Saturday. Apart from the confidence factor that stays with the team until the next match day, it can give the whole club an optimistic view. Could it be that come quarter to five on Saturday that Tottenham could lead the Premiership? Now there's a pressure!
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In the latest of his Premiership previews exclusively for the Offiicial Spurs Website, our director of football David Pleat takes a look at Southampton...