Grant tipped Saints to top table

PUBLISHED: 06:45 16 December 2006 | UPDATED: 09:54 14 September 2010

CHRIS LAKEY

George Burley's Southampton were top of Peter Grant's list as Championship title contenders at the start of the season. Grant takes City to St Mary's this afternoon in the belief that his fellow Scot has one of the most experienced squads in the division - but insisting that City can overcome their problems to bring home three points.

George Burley's Southampton were top of Peter Grant's list as Championship title contenders at the start of the season.

Grant takes City to St Mary's this afternoon in the belief that his fellow Scot has one of the most experienced squads in the division - but insisting that City can overcome their problems to bring home three points.

Grant has injuries and a stuttering form line to contend with, while Southampton are coming off the back of a surprise 2-1 defeat at Southend last weekend.

But Grant believes both teams will still be in the mix at the end of the season.

“While I started the season at West Ham, looking at squads in the Championship you think of clubs who will be up there challenging and Southampton are right at the top of that pile,” said Grant.

“They have got very good players, they have got guys who have done it at a higher level and guys who have done it at this level consistently.

“They have a coach in George who has seen it in the Premiership, the Championship for a long time, and had great success at both Ipswich and Derby. He went up to Hearts and did exceptionally well so he has a fantastic track record himself for bringing good players in and organising his team well.

“They are a bit like everybody else in the Championship, they are more than capable of turning you over - but we go there with a no fear element either.

“No matter what team I put out I expect the team to go there and win the game.

“Going to Southend at the weekend and losing he (Burley) will be disappointed at that. He will be going to St Mary' expecting an opportunity to get back in amongst it, so time will tell. They will definitely be up for the challenge.”

The table suggests that challenge is a tougher one for 15th-placed City than Southampton, who are sixth in the table, seven points behind leaders Birmingham.

However, Grant is adamant that City have plenty to play for in a promotion battle that is as tight as he has seen.

“I think there is a lack of consistency for a lot of teams which is bringing it all together,” he said. “One or two teams are even going on a run and still can't get away because they were that far behind to start with.

“We have had no consistency and we are still in the pack and it's fantastic for us that we are still in amongst it because we have to play much better and get more points in the bag than we have done and performances have to be much better as well.

“We have to start winning games of football so we don't get alienated and get pushed away from it and we are in with a right good shout.”

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