WHEN I spoke to Taunton boss Rob Dray last week, he reckoned “10 teams” could win the league.

By Saturday he’d downgraded that to “eight or nine”, but the point still stands - the Premier South title race is wide open.

After two defeats over the Christmas period - and a bounceback win against Gosport - the Peacocks sit fifth in the table.

They are nine points behind leaders Tiverton Town, but they do have two games in hand.

Tiverton saw their advantage over second-placed Truro City trimmed to one point on Saturday, after they could only draw 0-0 at Hayes & Yeading United, and Truro - beaten at Weston-super-Mare on New Year’s Day - eased past Metropolitan Police 4-0.

Truro and third-placed Chesham United (three points behind Tiverton after a 3-2 defeat at Salisbury on Saturday) each have a game in hand on the table-toppers.

Then we have Swindon Supermarine in fourth (eight points off Tiverton with two games in hand), who haven’t lost a league game since October 19.

Sixth-placed Salisbury are a point behind Taunton (both have played 21 games), and even Poole - down in 10th, trailing Tiverton by 17 points - cannot be ruled out, as they have five games in hand on the leaders.

There’s no dominant team here, and all of them have lost four or more games so far.

The Peacocks will be desperate to beat bottom-half sides Yate Town and Wimborne Town over the next couple of weekends, to remain in touch with the leading three sides, ahead of what could well be a season-defining February.

Dray’s men go to Swindon Supermarine on February 8, and follow that with a home game against Salisbury on February 15.

The next Saturday, February 22, they are scheduled to go to ninth-placed Hayes & Yeading.

All in all, it’s not been the best festive period for the Peacocks - but they are still in contention.

If they can put together a run of wins, unpredictable results elsewhere - and Tiverton having to play Poole, Chesham and Salisbury in the next month - will see them right in the thick of it.