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Saints fans have overwhelmingly backed their club to sign a new centre half during the January transfer window.

A poll which attracted over 2,000 votes on dailyecho.co.uk found that 73 per cent of all those taking part targeted a new central defender as the club’s top priority when the window reopens two weeks today.

Saints endured a torrid start to the season defensively as they couldn’t stop shipping goals with a back four that was changing on a regular basis.

They have found more stability and solidity in recent weeks, which has seen a marked improvement in form and a rise up the table.

But Saints fans still remain concerned that for a side that has had few problems scoring goals, conceding them is still the major barrier to staying in the Premier League.

Nigel Adkins may well target more than one central defender given the lack of cover at the club in that role.

The current first team pairing of Jose Fonte and Maya Yoshida are only backed up by Jos Hooiveld.

l From back page The other senior centre halves on the club’s books, Aaron Martin and Dan Seaborne, are so far down the pecking order they are out on loan at Crystal Palace and Charlton respectively.

For so many fans to agree on one specific area to be strengthened is a rare thing and shows their concern over that role.

As well as the huge majority for a centre half some 15 per cent were keen to see Saints land a new goalkeeper.

Adkins has struggled to decide who is his number one this season, chopping and changing between Kelvin Davis, Paulo Gazzaniga and Artur Boruc.

Whether the club would seriously consider bringing in a fourth senior keeper is a point of debate as that is a lot for any side to carry, especially one who only have the league and FA Cup to worry about.

Also to be taken into consideration is the length of contract you may have to offer. If you wish to get a senior and experienced top level keeper the chances of them being happy to uproot and move for a deal to the end of the season are slim.

Only six per cent of voters were keen to see the full back positions strengthened in the window.

That figure may had been higher a couple of months ago but with the emergence of Luke Shaw in the left back role, and with Nathaniel Clyne continuing to perform well on the other side, the urgency has dissipated somewhat.

Saints though may well still reflect they need cover.

Just five per cent of the vote was for midfield/wingers.

It is one area of the Saints squad that is very well stocked for players.

There is no need for any cover to add depth to the squad, the only argument would be for better players than are already at the club to be purchased to come straight into the first team.

With goals not an issue the smallest vote was for strikers.

Only two per cent of fans felt that area needed strengthening.

Saints are only playing with one out and out striker in their current formation.

That man has been Rickie Lambert but with Jay Rodriguez, Emmanuel Mayuka, Tadanari Lee and Guly do Prado all in the squad and with experience in that position Saints do seem to have options and depth to rely on.