Mauricio Pochettino has urged his Southampton side to maintain their focus going into Saturday’s trip to Reading.
Saints recorded back-to-back victories for just the second time in the top-flight this season after seeing off Liverpool and Chelsea in the last two Barclays Premier League fixtures, and travel to the division’s bottom team in search of a third successive win, something they’ve yet to achieve in the current campaign.
“It’s the key factor at this moment in time,” Pochettino told Saints Player, “and particularly after a win over Chelsea.
“We need to maintain our focus and I’ve told my players that if we’ve beaten Chelsea why can’t we maintain our same level of focus and mental intensity?
“It’s a characteristic that Southampton has to have in the future going forward whenever we play anyone.”
Although the team has gone close on several occasions since the Argentine’s arrival at the club, Pochettino is also still seeking a first success away from home, and he is keen to do just that this weekend.
“That is what we’re going to attempt,” he said. “Before all games we must have maximum respect for all teams that we’re facing, but our main focus is on getting three points.
“It’s clear to me that we’ve been very close (away from home). We’ve had some tough games away and we’ve also been close to getting a victory. Against Wigan, for example, but we haven’t been able to do it yet.
“Hopefully on Saturday we will have the effectiveness and the good fortune as well to get the three points because that’s what we really need this weekend.
“They (Reading) are a dangerous side, and we are facing a team that is fighting to survive,” he continued.
“Certain instincts will come out in defending what’s yours so I’m fully aware of the encounter that we are facing, and I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be a tougher game than the one against Chelsea.”
Pochettino openly discussed his appointment at the expense of his predecessor Nigel Adkins who he will meet for the first time at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
“It’s clear that I can’t really walk in his shoes and that I can’t really feel what he felt, but it’s never nice when anyone gets sacked.
“I have full respect for Nigel, but there are also many people behind the scenes from the Chairman down who contributed to the club’s success over the last couple of years. It is also down to the players to carry out the ideas we are trying to get across on the pitch.
“I think in all clubs around the world there can be people who are for or against a new manager coming in. It’s very hard to get everyone to agree with the same feeling, but I have the same respect for the people that treated me well from the beginning and accepted me as the manager as well as the ones who didn’t, I have the same respect for both groups.”
Mauricio also revealed that both Artur Boruc and Adam Lallana have both been involved in preparation for the weekend’s game after recovering from illness and injury respectively.
“They’re both well and both have been training well this week,” the gaffer confirmed. “Adam has a bit more to do because he only joined up with training on Tuesday so hopefully we will have both of them available for Saturday.”