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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Pochettino hails Ward-Prowse

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has described midfielder James Ward-Prowse as the perfect role model for the club's future.

Last Updated: 28/10/13 at 11:10 Post Comment

James Ward-Prowse: Praised by Saints boss

James Ward-Prowse: Praised by Saints boss

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Ward-Prowse, 18, came off the bench against Manchester United last weekend and inspired his team to a deserved draw at Old Trafford.

The Saints could climb into the top four of the table if they beat Fulham on Saturday and other results go their way, with Pochettino praising the contribution of Ward-Prowse.

"James Ward-Prowse is basically an example of the player we are promoting, the player we want to have in this club," said Pochettino.

"In every training session he gives 100 per cent. He always has an immediate impact in what he does and he is still a player who is growing. He is a figurehead of the sort of player we are looking for at Southampton.

"I am a person who has always given a lot of value to the youth teams in clubs. I was a player who came out of the youth ranks in one of the best youth academies in Argentina.

"Also, when I was managing Espanyol, I was a manager who always liked to push through that academy culture. I really value the younger players in any club.

"One of the main reasons I actually signed for Southampton was the fact that they wanted to push through that academy system. They wanted to reinforce and that went very well with how I view the future of a football club."

One of the main factors of Southampton's current form is their defence which boasts the best record in the Premier League with just three goals conceded in comparison with 24 at the same time last season, which is the main factor in their success.

Much of that can be put down to the meticulous planning under Pochettino and the double training sessions he has instigated.

"I am very happy that we are keeping this amazing defensive record," Pochettino said.

"It's all down to the great effort of the players. They are the ones who have accepted very well to have these double sessions, to accept this physical challenge and the new way of how we want them to train and to play."

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