Pochettino aiming for victory
Mon, 28 Jan 2013 18:00:00
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is thinking big ahead of his first away match since taking charge of the Saints under two weeks ago.
His side travel to face current Premier League leaders Manchester United on Wednesday night, and the Argentinean is targeting all three points.
The former Espanyol coach took charge at Southampton following the sacking of his popular predecessor Nigel Adkins but won over a lot of fans with a 0-0 draw against Everton last Monday night.
Next up is a trip to Old Trafford to face United but Pochettino is not planning to take his squad there to merely make up the numbers and wants make the long trip back down to the south coast after causing a memorable upset.
"Every game is important, every single match we play is important to us," he said.
"No doubt they are going to be tough and complex games against Manchester City and Manchester United but all games are like that.
"All games are key and the glamour factor does not dictate how we play, the main thing is that we go out with a winning mentality and we want to win every single game, we always respect our rivals but our aim has to always be to get the three points."
Club captain Adam Lallana could be fit enough to make the bench for the game against United and Pochettino says he will not rest key players with one eye on a crucial relegation clash with Wigan on Saturday.
"Lallana may play, he has been training well and looking okay so he may get some minutes against Manchester United so we will see how that develops," he said.
"We're going to Manchester to win and that has to be our mentality and I'm going to chose the players that will do that for us and for the team.
"Every single game represents three points whether you are playing against Manchester United, Wigan, Man City or Newcastle."
The draw against Everton came after Pochettino had had just four training sessions with his Southampton players and they were an impressive attacking unit for most much of the game.
Since then the club have had a trip to Spain, where they made use of Barcelona's training facilities, and Pochettino believes the Spanish trip, coupled with the gap of nine days between their fixtures, has done wonders for team bonding.
"We are definitely happy with the break (between the Everton and Man United games) and the more time that passes the more we will be able to get the team playing how we want to play," he said.
"Even against Everton with just four sessions under our belts we saw positive aspects and we just want to keeping adding more.
"We achieved everything we wanted out of the trip to Barcelona, the togetherness of the team was very important to us and the players got to know us (Pochettino and new coaching staff) and we got to know the players well.
"It is important that the players feel there is an entire solid team of people working with them at the football club and being together 24 hours of the day was important, not just three or four hours a day in a training session."
Last week's draw at Everton leaves the Saints four points clear of the Premier League relegation zone with 15 games of the season remaining for Pochettino to secure top-flight status for at least another campaign.