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  • "I hope every Saints fan gets behind the team tonight and doesn't get distracted or worked up by the press and other fans, who we all know would secretly love us to implode and turn on our team.

    One thing I can tell you is that, regardless of whether the vast majority of onlookers are outraged by Nigel's sacking, in three weeks they will be laughing at us for booing out own team, just as we've laughed at Blackburn and Chelsea fans for turning home games into away bankers for the opposition.

    Essentially, we all wanted Nigel to stay, but we can either wallow in it and oversee a fall back to where we were or we can stand up, back the players and help them stay up for Marcus and Nigel.

    They got us here, we can't just throw it away, unless we really want to feed ammunition to people who want to slag us off.

    We have to stick by the team tonight regardless of how it goes. No singing of 'you don't know what you're doing' with every goal against or substitution or team selection.

    At least we have a young, aspiring, progressive manager in place and, as Moyes said, like Laudrup, maybe he will unearth some Spanish gems like Michu for us.

    One other thing to remember if you are going to be jumping on the player's and manager's back tonight at the earliest opportunity: we don't have an incredible record at home this season.

    We haven't been rolling every team over, particularly not the best teams.

    We may well have been torn apart by Everton regardless of who is in charge, so please give the guy, and essentially ourselves, a chance.

    We all disagree with what's happened but it is like a refereeing mistake. It is gone, there is nothing we can do about it. We can either effectively lose control and get a man sent off or unite to help turn the injustice into a good end result.

    Now is not the time for self harm, but if we really want to prove NC wrong, we know what the consequences are.

    Ultimately, it is his responsibility if we go down, but we can't underestimate the role we will play in how things go from here."
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Pep's backing for new Saints boss Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino

First published in Saints News
Last updated

by Joseph Sexton

Mauricio Pochettino’s remarkable work with the Espanyol youth academy helped win him a dream job with Saints – and the backing of ex-Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola!

The 40-year-old Argentinian was sacked by the La Liga club towards the end of last November with Espanyol bottom of the table.

In his last 20 league games with the club, stretching back to the end of last season, the new Saints boss won just three and lost 13.

During his 145 games in the Spanish top flight with Barcelona-based Espanyol, Pochettino’s win ratio was 34 per cent with 44 per cent of games lost.

But it was his work with Espanyol’s academy that mainly attracted him to Saints chairman Nicola Cortese.

Pochettino is held in high regard in Spain, and Bayern Munich boss in waiting Guardiola has said: “I admire him for his ideals, his character. The foundations of his principles are always the same.”

Saints’ academy has produced gems in recent years such as Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Alex Chamberlain, Adam Lallana and now Luke Shaw.

But Espanyol’s record is even more impressive, and Pochettino takes a lot of credit for that.

They have produced a remarkable 15 Spanish internationals across all age levels since the turn of the Millennium.

Around forty players currently appearing in Spain’s top two divisions have come from Espanyol.

Cortese has said he wants to build a Barcelona-type model at Saints. Seven of the Barca side that started the 2009 Champions League final were home-grown, and Cortese believes he can oversee such a system at St Mary’s.

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