IT’S TIME for everyone connected with Saints to take stock, a deep breath and get ready for a massive few weeks.

Probably every team in this division who has something left to play for feels ready for a fortnight’s break.

It’s a chance to refresh both body and mind and to build up the mentality required to push for whatever you are trying to achieve.

For Saints that goal is quite clear – to pick up enough points to stay in the Championship.

They are on a decent run of form but it needs to get better.

Three wins in a row was just the tonic but in a season of uncanny mirror image results on any given weekend around the bottom of the table it didn’t do the trick and drag them out of the bottom three.

Since then there has been one defeat and then three draws.

Earlier in the season you would thought it was pretty useful form.

Right now you have to question whether that is the case.

It’s all very well picking up odd points if you are in the pack outside of the relegation zone and are maintaining your breathing space, but if you need to get out of the bottom three you have to be in the business of winning.

Of course that’s what Saints have tried to do but during this break Mark Wotte will have to try and drum into his players the mantra of simply playing for victories.

With seven games left to save themselves, Saints have to win – it’s hard to see many more draws being particularly useful now.

You never know and come the end of the season one point may make the difference.

But you need wins and because of that Wotte has to dispel the fear of defeat by assuring his players that single points are no longer enough.

That may sound like a cavalier attitude but it is simply a way of relieving pressure, of trying to allow players to express themselves freely when a game is level rather than clam up fearful of dropping the solitary point they do have.

Wotte is switched on when it comes to the mentality of his players and no doubt he has thought about this long and hard.

He will also be assessing the system which Saints are using and whether they will stick with that until the end of the campaign.

He has moulded a way of playing which has made Saints hard to beat but it needs to yield more.

Whether that will involve changing it – perhaps by adding more width – or whether he is happy to stick with it we will wait and see.

Blackpool was very much a game of two halves for Saints and another occasion where you came away thinking it was a fair result, but with that nagging feeling it could have been better.

Saints struggled to get to grips with a woeful Bloomfield Road pitch in the first half and were fortunate to only find themselves 1-0 down at half time.

But in the second half they were the better team and could have gone on to win.

Blackpool’s gameplan was pretty clear – lob the ball over the top and try and use their short and quick frontmen to turn the Saints defence and get in behind.

DJ Campbell was the most effective, giving JP Saeijs the right old runaround.

The Blackpool striker was using every trick in the book to try and get in behind Saeijs who stuck to his game well and was also stretched by having to cover out to the right where Jake Thomson found it tough going at right back.

You felt for him as it’s not his natural position and again highlighted the folly of going into a season without a recognised player in that position.

Saints have been fortunate that Lloyd James has adapted but beyond that it’s either put in somebody and hope for the best or shuffle players all over the field, and you don’t want to do that when your team is settled.

With Saints’ passing game not working on the bobbly pitch, they fell behind on 20 minutes when Campbell did get in behind Saeijs and went down under his challenge in the area.

It looked a very soft penalty decision indeed but the referee gave it and Campbell sent Kelvin Davis the wrong way.

Davis was in action twice more in the first half, saving comfortably from Brett Ormerod’s diving header and brilliantly from Campbell’s acrobatic volley that looked destined for the top corner.

The best Saints managed in the first period was Jason Euell’s header just wide of the far post and David McGoldrick’s mishit finish out of the sand with the keeper having beaten himself.

Wotte adapted his side to the conditions for the second half with Paul Wotton replacing Morgan Schneiderlin in midfield and it worked.

Marek Saganowski headed over from a corner before Campbell and Wade Small had openings with which they might have done better.

But Saints got a deserved equaliser on 69 minutes, McGoldrick showing great strength and persistence to hold off a challenge, cut inside another and put the ball low past Paul Rachubka.

After that it was Saints doing the pressing for a winner, though chances were pretty fleeting.

The nearest they came was deep into stoppage time when Andrew Surman curled a free kick around the wall from 20 yards and hit the post with the ball bouncing away from the waiting Saints frontline.

Saints are so near to what they need to stay up. But if they don’t get those extra wins soon it could prove to be so far.