With only the one hard fought win against Hull City at home, and the two draws against Blackpool and Portsmouth, we have only managed to gain five points from the fifteen that were on offer.
A lot has been made of the fact that the rest of the Championship sides now know how to stop us playing. That may well be part of the story.
Richard Chaplow was injured early in the Blackpool game and since then we have struggled to enforce our open style of play on the next four opponents.
For me he has been the pivotal force with his energetic non-stop play and timely goals. His work rate is high in the extreme and he not only breaks up attacks but also links well with our main strike force.
Add to his being out the loss of others who would normally be in the matchday squad and it appears that Saints squad is not as impressive as it appears at first glance.
David Connolly has also been missed as was Rickie Lambert when he had to be rested through a small niggle.
Seeing the impending return of Chappers will lift the spirits of both fans and the team. He is a bubbly character and his play can often bring us to our feet when he makes a hard tackle and breaks forward.
Dan Seaborne and Radhi Jaidi have not been seen much since last season and may have a while to go before becoming available.
I think if we are able to see Chappers in the team for Palace his selection in itself will raise the spirits of the fans. This will make us ever louder as we greet the team.
Whilst we don’t want to see our man return before fully fit, we will undoubtedly give him a rousing welcome if he does show up for this game.
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