JAN Poortvliet will be thinking long and hard about things right now.

Saints’ head coach has much to mull over after the opening seven Championship games and, in particular, the latest batch of three games in a week.

After an initial stretch of games that could have been described as a settling down period, Saints reported back for seven games in 21 days that would, without doubt, shape their season.

So far they have been beaten at QPR and managed just two points from back-to-back home games with Ipswich and Barnsley.

Quite simply, that is not good enough.

And while it is impossible to dispute that there are bright sparks there, results have to come soon.

Top of Poortvliet’s agenda will be whether he needs to change his way of doing things, either in terms of formation or the personnel he regularly uses.

What is for certain is that he cannot keep on sending out teams that don’t win.

In the same way as the positives of playing the young players have been there for all to see, the negatives could before long start to overshadow them.

Football is an entertainment business but ultimately it is a results business.

There is only so long you can live on the back of being unlucky in defeat. There comes a time when you just have to win.

That time is fast approaching.

It isn’t easy, granted, but Saints seem to lack the knowledge of how to win a game.

They are very good up to a point but in the final third, where it matters most, they are not – despite having some very talented players.

It is that which is causing Poortvliet a few more grey hairs.

He has given the majority of players at his disposal a go up there and so far he hasn’t found the correct combination.

What he needs to do is go away and clear his head, make up his mind what he thinks his best team is and stick with it for a few games.

All right, there will be injuries but players coming in for a game and then back out again are going to struggle to perform, particularly in the final third where confidence is king.

The formation and style of play also provides some terrific football but is only any good if it gets results.

These are tough problems for Poortvliet to wrestle with, but he must.

To draw 0-0 at home to Barnsley isn’t good enough, even if your ambitions for the season are merely to avoid relegation.

Aside from a couple of very good players like ex-Saint Brian Howard, Barnsley are a poor team.

In fact they are one of the worst teams we have seen at St Mary’s since Saints got relegated.

To put that into perspective, Saints drew 0-0 with them. They were also beaten at home by Blackpool, who were better, but not by much.

There’s no need to hit the panic button yet, it is still early days.

But these are worrying results and you can see the confidence draining in the youngsters as the pressure mounts.Without results, it won’t get any easier.

At least if Poortvliet is thinking of changing things around he has the opportunity to do so at Rotherham tomorrow.

On a positive note, the defensive injury crisis Poortvliet had to deal with before the game did throw up a good back four combination, Paul Wotton in particular outstanding as a commanding centre half, showing just what a bit of experience can bring to the team.

Saints failed to get the ball out wide often enough to stretch a Barnsley side not that mobile at the back, but when they did in the they looked dangerous.

In the first half David McGoldrick put in two good crosses from the right.

Bradley Wright-Phillips hit one first time only to see Heinz Muller save at his near post while the second flashed across the six-yard box but nobody had taken a chance to get in there.

In the second period Adam Lallana had several efforts that picked out Muller before Andrew Surman was stopped only by a challenge from Rob Kozluk.

Despite Saints dominating, moments of sloppy play always meant Barnsley were likely to fashion a chance and it came on 83 minutes.

Iain Hume skipped past Kelvin Davis but shot into the side netting with the goal gaping.

Saints pushed forward late on and came close with Stern John’s shot saved and Tomas Pekhart’s follow-up blocked.

It wasn’t to be, though, and it left Poortvliet with plenty to occupy his mind.