Mauricio Pochettino was impressed with his team’s attitude and desire to earn a draw against Everton at St Mary’s.
The Argentine manager felt that the players executed his game-plan well, and in the end were unfortunate not to be celebrating a perfect start under his command.
“Everything is very new in a first game like this, but I’m very happy with the performance,” he told Saints Player.
“The players put in a great effort tonight, and I want to congratulate them on that. Also the fans I’m very proud of, who they are, and how they’ve taken me in tonight.
“As for the game, we created several chances against a very good Everton side, so we’ve established how we want to carry forward in the future.”
Southampton could have been out of sight at half time as Everton ‘keeper Tim Howard produced a string of fine saves to deny the home side, and Pochettino conceded that perhaps his team’s luck wasn’t in.
“Yes maybe on another night but that’s football,” he said. “It happens and you have to factor in luck, but I really want to point out the good spirit of the squad and the team with the solidarity of the players.
“I really wanted my players to focus on being offensive against Everton as we really wanted to be attacking minded, so we’re working the long balls and a high defensive line.
“We worked a lot on pressuring them a lot and their attack with how their midfield players link up to attack so we were just concentrating on vertical, high speed football.”
Pochettino added his gratitude to the Saints fans for their backing throughout the contest.
“I really felt that kindness and I’m very grateful for the reception I was given and my staff as well,” he highlighted.
“Everything I was told about Southampton supporters is true, they’re very kind and they really support their team so I just want to repay them with honesty and work as I’m very proud to be their manager.”