Talking Points - Mauricio Pochettino

By SFC Media time Fri 21 Mar Men's First team

Mauricio Pochettino addressed the media on Friday morning ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League visit to Tottenham Hotspur.

Here are the key points from the briefing:

On team news…

“The only bad news today is that Morgan Schneiderlin and Guly [do Prado] have been added to the doubtful injury list alongside Kelvin Davis, Victor Wanyama and Jack Cork.

“We need to assess their fitness ahead of the game on Sunday. There’s also a few players that perhaps are doubts.

“He (Morgan) has a knock on his iliopsoas muscle, which is a pelvic muscle.”

On the possibility of using youngsters against Spurs…

“I think the question is more, ‘What do I expect from my own team?’ That’s what I’m focusing on.

“I think it’s a very good chance to bring in young players to give them a very good experience of playing against a very big team in the Premier League.

“I expect them (Saints) to play as they always play – to play well, to have a very good performance and to put in a very good effort that day.

“It’s a very good time when you’re facing difficulties in terms of injuries that you bring in young players to give them experience. It’ll be a very good thing for their futures as well.

“Just seeing the doubts we have in our senior players, we’re thinking about maybe drafting a younger player into the team.”

On his own future and Rickie Lambert’s desire for him to renew his contract…

“The best compliment that a manager can get is that a player (Lambert) publicly says that. I’m very happy to hear that.

“Regarding any new negotiations, there has been no changes from last week to now.

“The press knows that I don’t like to talk about assumptions. I don’t really like to talk about rumours. When anything happens, either a yes or a no or whatever happens, there will be a public statement made.

“Rumours are more than normal in the world of football. We’re completely fine with the rumours hanging around – there’s no problem with that. I don’t really have anything to comment regarding that.

“When I was at Espanyol, I was linked with other clubs. Nothing ever came of those rumours and now the same thing is happening at Southampton. There is nothing that fazes me in any way.

“My priority is to do as well as we can towards the end of the season, that’s my only priority at the moment.”

On his players’ World Cup ambitions…

“I say the same things I say when other players are linked with going away with their national sides. Why shouldn’t they be considered? I’m not the person to be asked this question. It’s down to the national side managers.

“More than anything, it’s down to the players to show they deserve to be in the national side, that they deserve to be going to the World Cup.

“They need to show that with their club in training and by having good performances. They also need to know they have an opportunity to go with their national sides. They need to train well, play well and know that they’re probably being watched.”

On young players attracting interest…

“I think it’s a great prize to all the hard work that’s been done over the last few years in Southampton. After these two months pass now, it will be the end of a five-year period that has been completely successful overall.

“It’s quite an amazing success for this Club that has gone from League One, to the Championship, to the Barclays Premier League, and it’s the end of a really successful period for this Club.”

On a project coming to an end and looking ahead to the next…

“The five-year project that basically had the end goal to be established in the Premier League, and that has happened now.

“When we first arrived a year and two months ago, it was a difficult period for the team, it was a changing moment for the team, but that five-year project was still in place. That was still the final goal.

“We did well, we were able to keep our important players, and we also did well in the sense of staying in the Barclays Premier League.

“Now, this season, we’ve been successful, we’ve been really good in the Barclays Premier League as well, and who knows where we can finish towards the end of the season, even more established within the Barclays Premier League.

“Regarding the future project, it’s not really down to me to say how that pans out.”

On Gastón Ramírez…

“This week, he’s been training under certain precaution, but, overall, we’re very happy with his performances of late.

“We do work with all the players. We do collective work in the sense of the entire team and then we also do a lot of individual work. I think it’s all down to the great staff that we have.

“We also have Jesús [Peréz] here that does great work with the players, we have a great technical staff, we have a great medical staff – their main concern is just for the well-being of the players and to try to get the best out of every single player.

“We do work with all these players and, in the end, we do get the great performances that we’re after.”

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