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Lallana: Poch is the key to our success
The midfielder was injured when the Argentine coach replaced Nigel Adkins as the manager at St Mary’s.
He watched from the stands as he took a charge of his first game, a 0-0 draw at home to Everton last January.
It was a match that Saints dominated and one that offered a first glimpse of the intense pressing style that has come to characterise Pochettino’s reign.
"It was normal for fans to think it was a strange decision, because Nigel Adkins had done a great job here,” said Lallana.
“The fans’ opinion quickly turned by the style of football and the way we were playing.
“There was an immediate difference, even in the first game against Everton.
“I wasn’t fit at the time, I was watching, and I noticed it.”
Pochettino only arrived at Saints in January, but has now had a full summer to implement his ideas, and Saints captain Lallana believes that has led to even more improvement on the pitch.
“We’ve had a full pre-season under him to get his tactics and methods across,” he said.
“You’re starting to see all the rewards of our hard work under the manager.”
Lallana has been delighted, if not surprised, with the club’s start to the season, and he is confident they can continue to challenge closer to the top of the table than the bottom.
“We’ll just take it a game at a time,” he said. “For however long we’re in fourth we’re going to want to stay there and look up, we’re not going to look behind us. That's the same as any team.”
Lallana added: “We deserve to be there. We’ve been consistent. We’ve kept clean sheets.
“We’re going to quietly go about our business.”
Read more in the 12-page Saints supplement in today's Southern Daily Echo.