Saints unity sparks survival hopes

01 March 2009 12:00
Saints had not won at home since September before last weekend's unexpected 3-1 triumph over high-flying Preston.[LNB]The Hampshire side followed up that victory with a 1-0 win that condemned fourth-placed Cardiff to only their fifth defeat of the season.[LNB]Dutchman Wotte, who has given Southampton a fighting chance of staying up since replacing hapless fellow countryman Jan Poortvliet, led a post-match celebration huddle.[LNB]Wotte said: "You have to be united, that is very important and there is a great spirit in the team now.[LNB]"The players believe they can stay up and we have had two fantastic results and now we have to keep winning.[LNB]"Defensively we were excellent and this is our first clean sheet for some time.[LNB]"I am very proud of my team and the way they have been fighting for each other in the last few weeks."[LNB]Southampton had Cardiff defender Mark Kennedy to thank for taking the lead in the 11th minute when the veteran Irishman inexplicably handled Jason's Euell's right-wing cross.[LNB]Striker David McGoldrick calmly stepped up to take the resulting penalty, sending goalkeeper Dimitrios Konstantopoulos the wrong way and hammering his shot into the middle of the net.[LNB]In-form striker Marek Saganowski had missed an easy header before Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis produced a contender for Championship save of the season.[LNB]Davis showed great reflexes to palm away Roger Johnson's powerful effort before somehow readjusting his body to claw Ross McCormack's follow up header behind for a corner.[LNB]Cardiff responded to a half-time dressing down from manager Dave Jones by producing a more spirited second half performance.[LNB]But it was Saints who came closest to extending their lead when Polish international Saganowski hammered against the crossbar from six yards in the 65th minute.[LNB]Cardiff should have been given the opportunity to snatch a point they scarcely deserved in the dying seconds when Chris Perry allowed the ball to roll down his arm inside Southampton's six-yard box.[LNB]Amazingly referee Kevin Wright failed to spot the infringement, unlike the majority of the 18,526 fans inside St Mary's.[LNB]Bluebirds boss Jones refused to blame Wright for the defeat and instead focused his frustrations on the visiting players.[LNB]Jones said: "I have got no complaints because we did not deserve to win.[LNB]"A few home truths have been said after the game, which have not been heard for a long time.[LNB]"We have come off the back of some difficult games and there is always fatigue, but we cannot use that as an excuse for the result."[LNB][LNB]

Source: Team_Talk