Pochettino has clear conscience

Mauricio Pochettino does not feel guilty about the way he replaced Nigel Adkins as Southampton manager.

Last Updated: 04/04/13 at 17:30 Post Comment

Mauricio Pochettino: Does not feel guilty about replacing Adkins

Mauricio Pochettino: Does not feel guilty about replacing Adkins

Mauricio Pochettino does not feel guilty about the way he replaced Nigel Adkins as Southampton manager and is looking forward to finally meeting his predecessor this weekend.

The football world was taken aback in January when Saints decided to sack Adkins despite leading the club to 15th in the Barclays Premier League after back-to-back promotions.

The shock decision was compounded further by the club's move to immediately appoint relatively-unknown former Espanyol boss Pochettino to the St Mary's helm.

The Argentinian will come face to face with Adkins for the first time on Saturday when Saints travel to a Reading side now managed by Adkins, who will want to exact revenge in his first home match in charge.

"Nigel has my full respect for the job that he did here," Pochettino said."As well as him, there are a lot of people behind the scenes that are responsible for the club being in the Premier League and doing so well in the past two or three years.

"The only thing I can say is that I hope to see him on Saturday to say hi, introduce myself and shake his hand. It will be a pleasure for me to meet him."

Many believe Adkins was harshly treated by Saints, but Pochettino feels no guilt about his role.

"I didn't feel bad at all," the former defender said. "From the first moment, I felt I was treated very well.

"I felt I was part of a family, part of a club with an amazing work ethic so that has made me very happy. I felt really comfortable from the beginning.

"From the outside, before I arrived here I was looking at how Southampton had fared.

"Now after being here for two months, I really see how the club works. I really see how good the structure is.

"It just makes me really happy to be here so I am chuffed to bits to be here."

Southampton head into the game fresh from back-to-back home victories over Liverpool and Chelsea.

While Saints are upwardly mobile, Adkins has the unenviable task of trying to stop Reading's immediate return to the npower Championship.

The Royals are seven points adrift of safety with just seven matches remaining, although Saints are only four points clear of the drop zone themselves.

"It was one of the most important games that I am going to encounter, even more important than against Chelsea," Pochettino said.

"We're going to find a really fired up team. They are a team that really need the points, really need to win.

"So do we. We really need the points as well, really need to win. I think it is going to be a very aggressive game with both teams having to win."

Victory for Southampton would be another major step towards survival and their chances have been boosted by the fact Artur Boruc and Adam Lallana should be available.

"Artur felt dizzy after the first half against Chelsea," Pochettino said. "The doctors have said he has a virus that perhaps he picked up from Poland.

"But he was already training with the group on Monday and has been training well throughout the week.

"There is no real big injury news. It is possible that Lallana might be available."


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