Saints heading towards 29-year top flight high - and Pochettino is on course for a personal milestone

Daily Echo: Mauricio Pochettino Mauricio Pochettino

Saints need four points from their remaining two matches to make this their most successful top flight season for nearly 30 years.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men have already bagged 52 points in this campaign.

If they can get to 56 in their final two games then it will officially be their best since 1984/85 when they finished fifth under Lawrie McMenemy.

Saints need just three points to better their Premier League era record, which was 54 set back in 1994-95 when sides played 42 games rather than the current 38.

The only time they have bettered that, since the 68 they got in 1984/85, was 55 in 1989/90, which was also a 38-game season.

It again underlines just how a strong a campaign this has been for Saints.

from back page Though there has been a feeling of things fizzling out a little as Saints got marooned in eighth place after a blistering start, the stats underline just how good it has been.

Saints’ remaining fixtures see them travel to Swansea tomorrow before rounding off the season against Manchester United at Mary’s a week on Sunday.

Should Saints win at the Liberty Stadium, it would equal their top flight record for the number of away victories in a single campaign, They notched seven in 1983/84, when they finished second, and in 1991/92, which was also a 42-game season.

In addition, the context of the likely finishing position is that Saints have only finished higher than eighth on seven occasions in the club’s 37 years in the top flight.

They finished seventh in 1968/69, 1970/71, 1981/82, 1989/90, second in 1984, fifth in 1985 and sixth in 1981.

Eighth is the highest they have managed in the Premier League era, previously achieving the feat in 2002/03.

In 2002/03 Saints jumped three places on the final day after winning at Manchester City with a Michael Svensson goal.

Going into the last game, Saints could have finished as low as 13th – only one place higher than the club managed in 2012/13.

Had Saints lost in the final game ever played at Maine Road, and Charlton had avoided defeat and Birmingham won, Gordon Strachan’s men would have slipped to 13th.

As it was, their win at City came on the same day that Tottenham lost 4-0 at home to Blackburn and Middlesbrough lost 2-1 at Bolton Wanderers.

Saints leapt above City, Tottenham and Boro on the final day.

Strachan’s men also finished 2002/03 with a minus goal difference – minus three – while Pochettino’s Saints will finish with a positive difference.

Saints have thus far scored nine more goals than they did in 2002/03, and conceded one fewer.

This season Saints have only ever been out of top ten once, when they were 11th after a 0-0 home draw with West Ham on September 15.

They have not been out of the top nine since before Christmas.

This could also be a significant season for Pochettino personally.

If Saints avoid defeat tomorrow, it will be the first time he has ever ended a season as manager having won more games than he has lost.

Saints also require two more clean sheets to equal their best Premier League defensive record of 45 goals conceded in 2003/04

Comments (9)

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8:19am Fri 2 May 14

Buddy SFC says...

And look at the quality of the top half of the EPL this year !! Liverpool , Chelsea, Man City on the Up ........... Everton and Arsenal quality seasons and Tottenham spent £100 million. To compete at this level so soon has been a staggering achievement.........
.

At the start of the season 10th was a great Target, 9th tremendous and 8th Dreamland !!

Well we are there, lets hope for a great Summer , fingers and toes firmly crossed !
And look at the quality of the top half of the EPL this year !! Liverpool , Chelsea, Man City on the Up ........... Everton and Arsenal quality seasons and Tottenham spent £100 million. To compete at this level so soon has been a staggering achievement......... . At the start of the season 10th was a great Target, 9th tremendous and 8th Dreamland !! Well we are there, lets hope for a great Summer , fingers and toes firmly crossed ! Buddy SFC
  • Score: 49

8:30am Fri 2 May 14

AdamG10 says...

I agree. I'd have taken 8th at the start of the season. I think we all would have. It's been an excellent season where in my 39 years as a Saints fan I've seen us play some of the best football around. Now let's do the Swans and Manure next week to put the cherry on the cake! Up the Saints!
I agree. I'd have taken 8th at the start of the season. I think we all would have. It's been an excellent season where in my 39 years as a Saints fan I've seen us play some of the best football around. Now let's do the Swans and Manure next week to put the cherry on the cake! Up the Saints! AdamG10
  • Score: 24

9:14am Fri 2 May 14

el caballo santos101 says...

What A fantastic season its been, and if we had the finisher we all thought we wee getting in Osvaldo it could have been so much better! 8th though, who wouldn't have taken that at the start of the season? As seed has said, 12/13 would have been an improvement on last year so 8th is further than most thought we could have achieved. We have also had bad luck with injuries so, if we can keep the squad together, a few good additions in the right places could see us push up to 7th or 6th next year. Come on RK and KL keep the squad together and spend a bit of cash to build on this season, the players want it, the manager wants it and US fans want it, lets not squander the opportunity we have!
What A fantastic season its been, and if we had the finisher we all thought we wee getting in Osvaldo it could have been so much better! 8th though, who wouldn't have taken that at the start of the season? As seed has said, 12/13 would have been an improvement on last year so 8th is further than most thought we could have achieved. We have also had bad luck with injuries so, if we can keep the squad together, a few good additions in the right places could see us push up to 7th or 6th next year. Come on RK and KL keep the squad together and spend a bit of cash to build on this season, the players want it, the manager wants it and US fans want it, lets not squander the opportunity we have! el caballo santos101
  • Score: 15

9:51am Fri 2 May 14

Positively4thStreet says...

Having a real go at getting all six points,even when they don't need to,would be a fitting finale to a fine season,and go someways to expunging the slight dissapointment still felt(by me anyway)at the Sunderland debacle.
Well done for a great achievement overall though,and good luck to all of our lads who make it to the World cup.
Having a real go at getting all six points,even when they don't need to,would be a fitting finale to a fine season,and go someways to expunging the slight dissapointment still felt(by me anyway)at the Sunderland debacle. Well done for a great achievement overall though,and good luck to all of our lads who make it to the World cup. Positively4thStreet
  • Score: 5

11:13am Fri 2 May 14

Costa Baz says...

Anyone else seen the video of Les Reed's Legends v Dodd's Dynamos?

Lovely foul by Pochettino, and a nice final goal by Jimenez (keeper coach?), who ran the ball the length of the pitch. Dodgy defending by the Dynamos.
Katharina was there and everyone had a great time.

Is ther a happier football club anywhere?
Quote of the day "Our cliches were better than their's".

Found it on Saintsweb and not 606 websites, but not seen it anywhere else. Have a look.
Anyone else seen the video of Les Reed's Legends v Dodd's Dynamos? Lovely foul by Pochettino, and a nice final goal by Jimenez (keeper coach?), who ran the ball the length of the pitch. Dodgy defending by the Dynamos. Katharina was there and everyone had a great time. Is ther a happier football club anywhere? Quote of the day "Our cliches were better than their's". Found it on Saintsweb and not 606 websites, but not seen it anywhere else. Have a look. Costa Baz
  • Score: 8

7:43pm Fri 2 May 14

pompey in spain says...

i was still hoping you could still get relegated,but speaking as someone who at the start of the season said you would get 9th position i gotta say.................
.....con.......i cant......well......
.... phew this is hard!....resp...nah give me a minute..............
....
i was still hoping you could still get relegated,but speaking as someone who at the start of the season said you would get 9th position i gotta say................. .....con.......i cant......well...... .... phew this is hard!....resp...nah give me a minute.............. .... pompey in spain
  • Score: 1

8:11pm Fri 2 May 14

pompey in spain says...

well done................
.god that was hard
well done................ .god that was hard pompey in spain
  • Score: 11

9:13pm Fri 2 May 14

DidiBruyere says...

pompey in spain wrote:
well done................

.god that was hard
And for my blue friends at work who have shelled out good money to keep the club afloat despite a long hard season, fair play and I can't help being just a tiny bit pleased that you guys stayed up with an impressive finishing run. I will of course deny I ever said this in conversation with them and bemoan the fact that you're not playing Eastleigh next season!
[quote][p][bold]pompey in spain[/bold] wrote: well done................ .god that was hard[/p][/quote]And for my blue friends at work who have shelled out good money to keep the club afloat despite a long hard season, fair play and I can't help being just a tiny bit pleased that you guys stayed up with an impressive finishing run. I will of course deny I ever said this in conversation with them and bemoan the fact that you're not playing Eastleigh next season! DidiBruyere
  • Score: 6

10:06pm Fri 2 May 14

Strasbourg Saint says...

pompey in spain wrote:
well done................

.god that was hard
First time I've thumbed you up, PiS.

Never mind, it's easy to admit we did even better than you predicted but to show balance, I have to admit that your shower did a little better than I predicted, what with last-day, mid-table obscurity and all that. Well done, Awful Andy Awford.
[quote][p][bold]pompey in spain[/bold] wrote: well done................ .god that was hard[/p][/quote]First time I've thumbed you up, PiS. Never mind, it's easy to admit we did even better than you predicted but to show balance, I have to admit that your shower did a little better than I predicted, what with last-day, mid-table obscurity and all that. Well done, Awful Andy Awford. Strasbourg Saint
  • Score: 2

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