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Saints could make changes
Mauricio Pochettino insists he is just planning day-to-day as he tries to steer Saints through a tricky week.
Three games in the space of a week is tough enough for any team, let alone travelling a combined 1,148 miles to Hull and Sunderland and bad weather to contend with.
Pochettino, above, is assessing on a daily basis the mental and physical sharpness of his players and is expecting to utilise his entire first team over the next few days.
However, he is adamant that there is no benefit in trying to plan his teams well in advance when under such demands.
“We always go game by game. We always try to choose the players who are as physically and mentally fit as possible for the game ahead,” he said.“We just take it step by step.
“It’s very tough to be playing the same team for these three games.
“We played on Saturday and now we are playing again on Tuesday and then again on Saturday.
“Also the weather conditions have been really tough and all the pitches are quite heavy and that places a lot of mental and physical strain on the players.
“We are looking to have players who are as fresh as possible to be giving us the best possible performances.
“We will be looking to make changes if needs be and we will be looking to give minutes to players who perhaps don’t play as much so we have fresh players to face these games as best as possible.”
Back-to-back away trips in the space of a few days to Hull and Sunderland are pretty much as bad as it gets for Saints but Pochettino reflected: “We knew that from the beginning of the season that we would need to make use of our full squad but what we’re always looking for is to have a competitive side in every single game and we have a team where 20-22 players any of them can play.
“It’s clear that the manager always has his own particular choices as to what team he lays out and what players he chooses for every single position but it’s also clear that any of the players available here whether young or older are competitive and available to play.”
The Saints boss is hoping that the tough schedule won’t derail his side’s good form, which has seen them string together a run of seven games unbeaten in all competitions.
“We just hope that the team can carry on with the positive mentality and the positive results it has been getting,” said Pochettino.
“So far in 2014 the team also went through a very tough moment with departures happening from the club but the team also showed its togetherness and unity and that helped the team to actually achieve these really good results.
“Our mentality is always to improve because we can always improve and always do better.
“The mentality has been positive from this team and hopefully we can carry on that same mentality and performance against a very tough side such as Hull.”