Merry Christmas. Well not really for Saints fans.

The big day comes at the halfway point of the Premier League season, and there is little cheer around St Mary’s at the moment.

Instead there is growing concern over where Saints are heading, both in a general sense as a club and, more pressingly, on the pitch.

Just four wins all season – with 11 played at home already meaning a very tough second half of the campaign - and those against mainly teams in some sort of crisis, just three points off the bottom three and with the looming reality that with games away to Tottenham and Manchester United up next they could even end the year in the relegation places.

Ladle onto that the Virgil van Dijk situation and uncertainty surrounding the direction of the club with so many unanswered questions over Saints’ direction of travel and intentions of the fairly new ownership.

There is a lot more than just turkey for the Saints hierarchy to chew over this Christmas Day.

A draw against Huddersfield was just the latest in a string of disappointing results.

Saints have wandered close to the cliff edge, peered over and taken a few steps back towards safety several times over the past year or so.

They did it again when they defeated Everton, and you felt the script was written that, after five winless games since that victory, it would be the same against Huddersfield.

That was even more the case when it became clear how adventurous Huddersfield would be at St Mary’s, a brave tactic indeed, and one that, ultimately, was deservedly rewarded.

The day started ominously when van Dijk wasn’t even in the squad.

Pellegrino didn't really offer up much by way of explanation, but with the January transfer window about to open, it’s pretty easy to work out what most people will be thinking.

However, this was still Huddersfield, and a game that even given a couple of injuries, looked like three points on offer for Saints.

It was Huddersfield, though, who certainly had the better of the first half.

They really should have taken the lead before Saints got in front.

Three balls in from the right in the opening 15 minutes all created chances with which they might have scored.

The first saw Rajiv van La Parra hit a poorly timed shot that was blocked, the second saw Aaron Mooy take too long to get the ball out of his feet and Steven Davis intercept his effort, while Christopher Schindler’s header was well saved by Fraser Forster.

Saints certainly could have considered themselves fortunate to get the lead, via a set piece, on 24 minutes.

James Ward-Prowse’s outswinging corner was headed off target by Wesley Hoedt but found Charlie Austin, whose stopping header was a simple finish from close range.

They were even luckier to still have 11 men on the pitch as Austin inexplicably left a boot in as Jonas Lossl dived to mop up a loose pass.

There was no need for it and, despite Austin pleading his innocence, it looked very bad, and left the Huddersfield keeper with blood pouring from his nose.

The sense of injustice grew for Huddersfield as Schindler spurned another great chance, putting wide a free header from ten yards out.

Saints did test Lossl a few times just before the break with the keeper showing bravery to save at close range from Dusan Tadic, while making routine stops from Austin and Nathan Redmond.

With Huddersfield willing to press higher up the field than most teams at St Mary’s, Saints appeared to make a tactical switch at the break.

They sat deeper, trying to draw Huddersfield onto them confident they could launch counter attacks.

It almost paid off on the hour mark when Redmond did a brilliant job of beating one man and drawing out the other before squaring to Austin in time and space 12 yards out.

He controlled and had the chance to pick his spot but fired wide.

The danger of the tactic was that it invited Huddersfield on and they took advantage by equalising on 64 minutes.

Tommy Smith delivered a right wing cross, Laurent Depoitre got in behind Maya Yoshida and ahead of Jack Stephens and had the simple task of heading home from a few yards out.

It proved to be a decisive moment.

Saints had a couple more chances but weren’t able to take them.

Lossl’s poor goal kick was intercepted by Austin, whose fierce shot was saved by the keeper, but at a cost as the Saints striker limped off.

In the final moments Ward-Prowse delivered a free kick that found the unmarked head of Yoshida just inside the area but he hit the post, with the ball rebounding off of the unwitting Lossl and away.

A few boos rung around the ground at the final whistle, but there was more despondency than anger amongst those that hadn’t already headed for the exit.

Merry Christmas indeed.