Premier League

Hughton denies RvW clause

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Thu, 18 Apr 2013 16:46:00

Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino has been satisfied with the performances his players have produced since his appointment.

Pochettino took over from Nigel Adkins in January and looks to have cemented Southampton's place in the Premier League for next season.

But the 41-year-old believes Saints could be in a better position and admits they should have picked up more points.

Pochettino said: "I'm pleased and satisfied with how the team has been playing, but you always need a bit of dissatisfaction.

"All the games that I manage - whether they are at home or away - are winnable, so I want to win."

Meanwhile, Pochettino is relishing the prospect of facing Michael Laudrup again when Southampton travel to Swansea on Saturday.

The ex-Espanyol boss faced Laudrup when the Swansea manager was coaching in Spain.

"I'd like to congratulate Michael Laudrup because he's having an amazing season," said Pochettino.

"Swansea's brand of football is established, and quite similar to what we're trying to achieve at Southampton."

"The style of football he plays at Swansea suits him, and it is similar to the style he was playing in Spain."

Norwich have agreed an ?8.5million deal with Sporting Lisbon for the 24-year-old Dutch striker but the 24-year-old's agent, Louis Laros, was reported earlier this week as saying the move was dependent on the Canaries staying in the Premier League.

With five games remaining, Hughton's side currently lie in 14th position on 35 points, just four points above 18th-placed Wigan who have a game in hand.

Laros was reported as claiming: "There is a special clause in the deal accepted by all parties that stipulates if Norwich leave the Premier League then the future of Ricky van Wolfswinkel will be open again."

Hughton, however, slammed the door shut on that possibility on Thursday afternoon as he prepared for Saturday's vital home clash against rock-bottom Reading.

He said: "I have heard those reports but the facts are that he has signed for Norwich City and I expect to see him on the first of July.

"Any talk of a relegation clause in the contract is not fact. That is where we are and we look forward to seeing him next season."

Hughton was less forthcoming on the future of striker Kei Kamara whose loan spell with Norwich is due to finish two games before the end of season.

There is a chance, however, they might try to keep the Sierra Leone striker who is on loan from Major League Soccer side Sporting Kansas City.

Hughton said: "We are conscious that a decision has to be made on him. He has made a good impact. We still have a bit of time. It's not for a few weeks that we need to make that decision and we are putting our heads together to see what we want to do."

The Norwich boss, however, insisted his sole focus was trained on the match against Reading, following last weekend's unfortunate defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium when Norwich conceded three goals, including a harsh penalty, in the last five minutes in a 3-1 defeat.

Hughton said: "We are coping very well. We know we have to get points.

"We are on the back of a very good performance at the Emirates last week and there is confidence in the team.

"There's no getting away from the fact that we have five very big games, starting at home against Reading on Saturday.

"They are going to be fighting, they are a proud football club and a good team. They'll be giving everything to get a result.

"We have lost three matches at home all season. These are the positives you have to grab hold of. There is a good spirit in the squad and we have nigh-on a fully fit squad.

"You have to look forward to these challenges. It's a wonderful division to be in.

"We felt aggrieved last Saturday but that is in the past. We have left that frustration behind."

Number one choice goalkeeper John Ruddy is back in training and has played two development matches but is unlikely to be rushed back against Reading.

Meanwhile, midfielder Anthony Pilkington is back in contention following his hamstring injury and Bradley Johnson has recovered from a knock suffered against Arsenal.

Hughton insists there are no nerves in the dressing room and prefers to stress the positives of a long season as Norwich battle for their Premier League survival.

He said: "We still have six very good clubs below us at this moment and it is our intention to stay where we are.

"We have five games, three of them at home. It is in our hands.

"It could be worse, we could be in 17th or 18th place. Apart from the early part of season we have not been in the bottom three. That indicates that overall it has been a decent season. We just need to make sure we finish it well."

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