Mauricio Pochettino is pleased to be working with his players again after the pre-season schedule officially got underway this week.
Pochettino has been particularly impressed by the way his squad have looked after themselves during the break, which he says will make the work ahead much easier.
“We’re all very pleased with how they’ve arrived back from their holidays,” the First Team Manager told Saints Player.
“I want to congratulate them because the plans that we gave to them before their holidays they’ve done really well with and followed thoroughly.
“It has gone really well, because all of this time we’ve been preparing what our pre-season is going to be like and all of our games.
“We think that the preparation of the team right now ahead of this new season is the most important thing that we can be doing at this moment.
“They’ve really shown that they’ve prepared well during holidays and that helps us to carry out our pre-season exercises in a much quicker way, so how they’ve looked after themselves has really helped us and it’s going to aid our preparation even quicker.”
Saints will travel to Spain and Austria over a 16 day period later this month to ramp up their preparations for the new Barclays Premier League campaign, and Pochettino believes this will be the ideal way to maintain a strong mentality amongst the players and coaching staff.
“I don’t think it’s that many days that we’re going away for,” he stated. “I’m not sure what the norm is here in England, our experience is that to have 16 full days with the players together and with possible new additions, whether in Spain or Austria, or England. We think that’s a positive thing in pre-season and we think that it’s best for the club.
“The goal is to train, to rest, to eat and eat well, again to train, to rest, recover, and create good dynamism within the squad, of course.”
The gaffer is aware that expectations will be raised this season, with an added onus on his involvement, but Pochettino says he is used to that and his attitude will remain the same as when he took on the job.
“I’m not really worried about it,” he explained.
“On the first day that I arrived at Southampton I was fully aware that it was my team, my decisions, and my preparations, so even now I’m more aware of that but I’m used to it, I am a manager and I’m fully aware that is the case with this job.”