IT’S THE final countdown, and in more ways than one.

Just a week until the final day of the transfer window, and one match left to get things right before the big Premier League kick-off.

It’s a time of excitement and tension around St Mary’s, and also a certain amount of uncertainty.

In terms of transfer dealings there could still be a lot to happen, but if that’s not the case then it might well be that next to nothing occurs.

Saints are in a position where they have to shift players on before bringing in another signing of real note.

It might well be to get an attacking player of the kind of quality they require to improve the team they will have to try and sell a few of the players on the fringes of the squad.

If they could get a few deals done at once to free up cash and wages then it opens the door to making the move.

On balance that would be something likely to be considered worth doing if the right potential purchase is out there.

However, unless they can do enough deals to fund the kind of player they want it might well be a case of doing nothing at all, of keeping the powder dry until January and keeping the squad as is. You still have the option to loan out a few if required.

What is apparent, therefore, is that Saints have to rely on other clubs.

They have done their proactive bit already, getting business done early in the window.

But to really push on from where they are now requires others to be interested in players and meet valuations, and in reasonable enough time to react.

It’s an uncertain position to be in, but in a way also a position of strength as Saints aren’t a club who at this point in time feel as if they have to try and make something happen.

On the pitch it is getting to the stage where things need to be coming together.

There are some circumstances that are less than ideal.

Many clubs will suffer at the start of the campaign after a World Cup summer, and many Premier League sides will have it worse than Saints.

But with Saints still having to work on trying to get a few players fit while otherwise trying to fine tune for the beginning of the campaign, it is awkward.

They look likely to have to make do without Cedric Soares and Maya Yoshida for at least the opening weekend given that neither of them have yet played a single minute post-World Cup.

Most of the others probably will be fine fitness wise, but maybe will have to find a little match sharpness as they go.

There were good aspects to Saints’ performance against Celta Vigo at St Mary’s last night, in particular, of course, scoring three goals, but also some understandably disjointed elements too.

Given that Saints are a week ahead of the Spanish side in their preparations, it was concerning that it took a raft of half time changes to really get the team going.

Mark Hughes played a 5-1-2-2 type of formation which is another interesting little twist on having three centre halves, but it does look more threatening up front which is so vital.

Saints started the game strongly and should have taken the lead after just seven minutes.

Ryan Bertrand, who was a real threat with his quality delivery from left wing back, played in a superb cross that picked out right wing back Sam McQueen in space inside the six yard box, but he made a mess of the header and missed the target.

Saints were behind on 11 minutes as Pione Sisto produced a piece of genuine quality.

He cut in from the left wing and with little pressure on the ball opted to take a shot and bent a superb right footed effort into the opposite top corner from 20 yards out.

Saints struggled to create many decent chances and were largely limited to shots from outside the box.

After Celta Vigo had gone close again as Claudio Beauvue guided a header from ten yards wide, Gabbiadini laid the ball off to Long who opened his body and curled a shot across goal that hit the crossbar.

Long had a moment to forget two minutes before the break as Celta Vigo doubled their lead.

He gave the ball up to Iago Aspas who tricked his way into getting a yard on the outside of Jan Bednarek and fired a fierce shot across goal and past McCarthy from a tight angle.

There was the inevitable raft of substitutions at half time - four for Saints and six for Celta Vigo – and that changed the dynamic of the game.

It was a welcome shift of momentum for Saints who had got themselves level come the hour mark.

Matt Targett, deputising at right wing back, was the architect of them both.

On 56 minutes his right footed cross was attacked by Charlie Austin who produced an excellent, guided downward header into the corner.

It was 2-2 four minutes later as Targett intelligently laid the ball into the path of Armstrong, who didn’t have to break stride to sweep a composed finish past the keeper.

Angus Gunn made a couple of decent saves before Saints sealed the win in the closing seconds.

James Ward-Prowse took aim and hit a fizzing low shot from distance that smashed against the foot of the post.

The rebound fell to Mohamed Elyounoussi in space in the penalty area and he produced calm first time side footed finish into the empty net to seal the win.

Saints now have just one pre-season friendly remaining before the start of the Premier League with Borussia Monchengladbach providing the opposition at St Mary’s on Saturday.