I think if we all look back a couple of weeks the new appointment of Mark Hughes was welcomed just about all over.

His first result cheered everybody up. An away win, in the FA Cup, which got us into the semi-final.

There looked to be more team effort than there had been previously and whilst everyone was obviously looking forward to a visit to Wembley, realism came hard and fast when we had to play West Ham, of all people, who needed a performance more than anyone as their supporters had invaded the pitch and more or less attacked the directors’ box in their previous game.

The fact was that it made us remember that whilst the Cup result was excellent the team we played were two divisions lower.

After West Ham, unfortunately it was another away game, and this time to Arsenal, who have been criticised left, right and centre for different reasons. Their supporters think they should be top four every season, winning more silverware, their manager has been there too long etc.

From a football point of view, whilst they will not be in the Champions League next year via their top flight position, they do have the chance to get there if they win the Europa League.

Our fixture with them came between two games in that second tier of European competition against CSKA Moscow.

It became obvious how big squads are these days when Arsene Wenger made seven changes to the team that had played in Europe a few days earlier.

From what I saw in the second half on TV the performance by Saints was good enough to get a draw. Unfortunately, a late goal did not change our position in the league.

Once again we have to try and put the Cup to one side, because there are only six league games left, three at home and three away, and not one of the matches can be classified as easy.

The only consolations I think at this time are that West Bromich look doomed already, Stoke City are not winning and there are more clubs than Southampton looking over their shoulder.

Chelsea are our visitors this weekend, who also have to keep wining to try and get a top four place.

I suppose everything I have said will have already been talked about by Mark and his staff day after day.

I believe we have enough talent in the squad, but the manager’s job is to pull it all together to work as a team, for players to play for the team and not as individuals, encourage each other and they will find that the support on the terraces at Southampton is as good as anywhere else.

  • The Champions League is always watchable because we read regularly about people like Messi, Ronaldo, Gareth Bale etc, but the games give us more of an opportunity to see them.

Of course, it proved like our domestic football that anything can happen on any given day.

Barcelona, already three up after the first leg, went out in their away game.

Real Madrid looked as though they were going the same way until a dramatic injury time penalty got them through.

I suppose the Liverpool fans were looking at these games with more interest than most because they are on a high having demolished Manchester City, who have been flying high in our league.

Mr Klopp, who I think is down for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, had certainly a lot to be happy about as he has won the Anfield supporters over and they are talking now about getting more and more like the good old days when they were literally the best team in Europe.