It was not only the Claret & Blue clad Crystal Palace fans who shuddered a little when Leicester won that game in South London. Suddenly a whole host of clubs started looking anxiously over the shoulder, fearful that the Foxes might abandon feeding off scraps from the Championship bins and start a charge for promotion.
Our buffer is 12 points, and that is a hell of a gap to make up in half a season providing we maintain our impetus, but I would have money on Leicester to feature in the play offs now - and who would want to meet them in a dust up on the doorstep of the Prem? If we finished third, I wouldn't pick them as opponents!
Meanwhile anybody just looking at their score in the game against Brighton might imagine that the Saints were thumped - but far from it. God knows how they weren't at least two goals to the good before the sending off. Watch the highlights on the BBC - Southampton played more football in the first half than we managed in the whole of December! Mind you, they caved in once Lambert was dismissed, just as we did when we lost O'Brien at Reading.
So, the battleground is taking shape. How will the loss of Lambert hurt Southampton? Can Leicester now put together the expected winning run? And can we hold our form? The FA Cup is an annoying distraction because the next round of fixtures could tell us a lot. We have the toughest game away to Pompey, Leicester should be too strong for Barnsley, Southampton will be wary at Forest after their weekend victory and long overdue goals whilst Miserableboro will expect to beat Burnley. Still, perhaps Ilunga can help Donny to beat Cardiff! But hang on, he helped Cardiff to beat us!