Date: 27th December 2005 at 6:47pm
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George Burley had little time to turn round saints fortunes on Boxing Day, and he saw a hastily thrown together team soundly beaten by an in-form Watford side.

Saints defensive problems continued due to injuries, so Delap and Mills started at centre back and were never a match for the powerful Watford front line of Darius Henderson and Marlon King.

Darius Henderson opened the scoring within the half hour when he climbed above Rory Delap and Matthew Mills to head into the net.

The home side doubled their lead when a Anthony McNamee free kick was headed down by King and Clarke Carlisle tapped in from close range.

At half time Burley brought on Tomasz Hajto to try and add some aerial power to our ‘out muscled’ defense. Unfortunately he turned into his own net in the first minute of the second half, and it was game over.

Burley hadn’t had much preparation time with his new squad and things won’t get any easier, as he now has only one day to prepare for his first home game – the visit of Sheffield United on Wednesday night.

Antti Niemi is set to return for the match, after missing the Watford game with a virus.

Saints defensive worries continue with Danny Higginbotham out for up to three weeks, plus Claus Lundekvam and Michael Svensson are still unavailabe.

Darren Powell does return from a one match ban and is likely to start.