Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino wants the focus to be on the football his team plays after overseeing a goalless draw with Everton in his first game in charge of the Saints.

The Argentinian's appointment came as fans' favourite Nigel Adkins was sacked and rumours were rife of a supporters' backlash towards both Pochettino and Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese.

But a scintillating start by the home side ensured the crowd stayed with the former Espanyol boss and his players as they came close to causing an upset by beating fifth-placed Everton, with Pochettino insisting he wanted focus to be on Barclays Premier League survival.

"I've been offered a job, an opportunity, and I've taken it," he said. "I'm happy how the fans have greeted me, and how the players have greeted me, and I just want to focus on my work. That's what I'm here to do.

"I have the maximum respect for the previous manager. It's never nice to take over from another manager who's been let go, but that's just how it's been."

Asked about fans' support for Adkins, he said: "That's freedom of speech. It's normal that they think that after a couple of seasons of him being in charge.

"I credit the previous manager for the work he did here. But now I really want to focus on my tenure here and the future of the club here under me, and the goals we've set out to achieve."