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Pochettino demanding victory

Mauricio Pochettino has urged his Southampton players to sign off their season with a victory against Stoke on Sunday.

Last Updated: 19/05/13 at 15:43 Post Comment

Victory over Stoke could lift Mauricio Pochettino's Saints to 10th in the Pr

Victory over Stoke could lift Mauricio Pochettino's Saints to 10th in the Pr

Saints could finish as high as 10th in the Premier League table if they win at St Mary's and Pochettino is hoping they can cap off a fine first season back in the top flight with a positive result.

"It is very important that we finish this season with a win," said the Southampton boss.

"We're in the Premier League next year and it is very important for us to win to be as high as possible in the table."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has come under fire after an underwhelming campaign, but Pochettino was quick to heap praise on the Potters boss.

"I want to highlight the job Tony Pulis has done at Stoke with a different philosophy to the way that Southampton play," he said.

"They fully believe in the way that they play. Again, it is different from the way Southampton play and they have carried it throughout this season.

"It is not easy to perform in that manner in the Premier League so I want to congratulate him on a job well done this season."

Pochettino has a few doubts for the clash and indicated he may blood in a few youngsters.

"We're looking at Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw," he added. "They have not been able to train during the week.

"Luke had a stomach virus and Rickie had a knock on his back, which he has been suffering for a month now. Hopefully they will be recovered for the game on Sunday."

Pochettino hopes to ruin Michael Owen's farewell match after falling foul of the Stoke striker at the 2002 World Cup.

The 33-year-old former England striker admitted last year that he was "guilty" of going down when he could have stayed on his feet for both of his penalties against Argentina at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

The South Americans had the last laugh in the first tournament, but in Japan the act allowed David Beckham to score the only goal in a 1-0 win.

Pochettino was the man whose leg Owen tumbled over in Sapporo and has the chance to exact revenge tomorrow in the striker's last match before he retires.

"For me, he has been one of the greatest England footballers and I was unlucky to suffer his skill," the Saints boss said with a smile.

"It will be a great pleasure for me to say 'Hi' to him and meet him as well. Hopefully we can argue about that controversial play that happened in Japan way back.

"Perhaps in the tunnel going into the dressing room I will trip him up.

"Destiny will be very cruel if (he was to score the winner) and I don't think that I deserve that to happen to me."

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