There are very few teams in the country right now who could beat Southampton over two legs. Neither of the games were particularly thrilling to watch, but that is because two good sides largely cancelled each other out. In the end it was just a bit more quality from Southampton which decided the tie.
Southampton took the tie very seriously, wanted to win it, put their first choice team out on both occasions and delivered two very professional hard-working performances. They changed their shape last night specifically to nullify us. Anybody expecting mircales was always going to be disappointed.
We battled for 100 minutes in both games and gave everything. The Saints were almost impossible to break down. Mark Lawrenson might not find the fact that we were edged out by a single goal very impressive, but I do. He doesn't watch us every week, doesn't understand how far we have come as a football team under Mick and doesn't fully appreciate the gulf in class between the two sides.
It's unfortunate that we didn't get a ding-dong replay and that a lot of fans who don't watch us so often have gone home feeling underwhelmed. In the grand scheme of things however, it's really not all that important. It doesn't change the fact that we are one of the best sides in this division and I fully expect us to pick up 3 points at Milwall on Saturday.