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Massive task at Saints for Mauricio
Mauricio Pochettino better be broad shouldered because he is taking on a massive task.
The first thing to remember is that it’s not his fault that he was offered, and accepted, the job. Adkins’ dismissal is not his fault either.
However, he has to hit the ground running in some very tough circumstances.
There is sure to be a backlash from Saints fans after a popular manager was binned in such a cut-throat manner.
To stop the atmosphere turning very sour very quickly, he needs instant results.
His first two games are against Everton at St Mary’s tonight and Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday week.
You could scarcely pick two harder games.
They are ones that, in reality, Saints might have lost with Adkins in charge.
There will be no let up for the new man, though.
After the recent form of the team under Adkins, two defeats will see the atmosphere turning – and that before a vital trip to fellow relegation candidates Wigan.
So Pochettino has to make an instant impact.
That will be the case in the dressing room as well, but his lack of experience of English football and current inability to speak the language is not going to help him.
Nor is the fact that Adkins’ staff, who did at least know the players and the division, have fallen by the wayside.
Perhaps it will be over to Les Reed to provide some filler advice.
The expectation levels will be high.
Saints won back-to-back promotions under Adkins and looked on course to retain their Premier League status.
But despite that, according to Nicola Cortese, he wasn’t the right man to achieve the club’s long term targets.
Therefore, we have to judge Pochettino beyond merely keeping Saints up.
He has to take them at least one step beyond that.
That will be tough, without a decent amount more money being spent.
The new man might not yet realise just what he has let himself in for ...
All the latest on Saints in today's Daily Echo