Pochettino: Saints have an identity

By SFC Media Fri 20 Dec Club

Mauricio Pochettino believes that sticking to a playing style has been the secret behind Saints’ resilience in recent matches.

Draws against Manchester City and Newcastle have halted a run of three successive defeats, but the Southampton manager says the players have stuck to the principles that reaped a run of eight games unbeaten prior to the loss at Arsenal in November.

And following further high energy performances in the last couple of games, Pochettino is sure that the team will be able to maintain their tempo going into a run of four league games over the next eleven days, starting with Sunday’s hosting of Tottenham at St Mary’s.

“Yes, that’s our philosophy and that’s our identity as a team,” he told Saints Player

“We want to keep on doing what we’ve been doing so far and beside the point that the schedule is going to be full of games, we want to show who we are with our identity.

"The thing about this team is that it’s always played the same way. It’s played with the same identity and when there are more games in the schedule we played against Arsenal and Chelsea, then against Manchester City. 

“Those were really tough games of course, there’s no denying that, but overall despite that the team has been playing well and with the same philosophy and identity which is the most important factor.”

This will be Pochettino’s first taste of the Christmas schedule in English football, and whilst the gaffer is looking forward to the busy schedule that lies in wait, he is taking each game as it comes.

“It’s going to be a very good experience for me,” he said. “It’s going to be my first time spending Christmas here in the Premier League and playing over Boxing Day as well, so I’m really looking forward to it as it’s going to be a good experience.

“Every day we are fulfilling the goals that we set ourselves,” Pochettino added. “We just keep thinking about the present and the next game. We don’t really think about the future long-term, we think more about the short-term and the next game ahead.

“Our focus is on Tottenham. We’re fully focused on the game ahead, and we can’t think of the next game after that before we play Tottenham, so we’re focused on this game.”

Manager-less Spurs travel to St Mary’s on Sunday, and whilst much will be made of the visitors’ current situation, Pochettino is concentrating solely on how to beat the team that Saints will line up against at the weekend.

“Upon analysing what Tottenham are as a team, you can tell that they have great players and great quality in their side,” he highlighted. 

“It’s also clear that they have new players and it has taken a long time for them to adapt to this new league, but Tottenham are always Tottenham – they are a dangerous team and they can go on the counter-attack, and now they have a new manager so we will see how they cope with that.”

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