Mauricio Pochettino says he feels no pressure.
The Saints boss has been under constant questioning regarding the future of his top players and his own intentions this summer, leading to director Les Reed making a public statement last week to try to quell the storm.
It has taken a bit of the heat off Pochettino temporarily but the Argentinian isn’t concerned anyway.
“I want to make it clear that I don’t feel any pressure. This is my passion. I am a manager and I feel passionate about this job I do,” he said.
“I have never felt any pressure as I’ve always enjoyed being a manager and being in this position.
“I want to make it clear as well that the club made it clear their own positions. That’s the club’s position and that’s it.”
When asked about potential outgoing transfers this summer he added: “I think that the public statement that Les Reed made last week made it quite clear the stance the club have regarding that.
“Right now the club is focussed on finishing the season as best as possible. We want to win today, to have a very good performance and end the season on a high note and at the end of the season we will be able to talk about any future developments.”
He added: “We have been working already with the planning for next season, looking already at pre-season, looking at the holidays, what holidays are given, and looking at what programmes we are going to provide for the players.
“It’s clear that it’s going to be a very long summer so we are going to have enough time to work with the pre-season planning. We are already doing that and we are already looking towards the future.
“Our plans are to play the last game and then the players who will be called up for the World Cup will be released and be able to travel with their national sides or given some time to rest – that depends on them.
“I think overall it’s been a very long season and it’s been demanding physically and mentally.
“I think a lot of these players deserve a rest.
“Football is something that never stops, football just continues. There’s no Christmas break as well.
“I think it’s been quite demanding for all these players and I think they should be given some time to recover and to rest.”
Pochettino was again keen to praise his players and their efforts this season.
“All you have to do is look back to where this club was a couple of years back and that will clearly describe the massive progress that Southampton has made,” said Pochettino.
“The great effort by the players deserves to be recognised.
“They have been in League One, then jumped to the Championship and then into the Premier League and in the first season we got to 14th position in the league and since then we’ve gone to eighth place.
“In this country that is massive progress we have made.”