New Saints boss on helping club take the next step
"We have got the ambition to do it. This is something that the people told me from the beginning and I feel the same.”
Mauricio Pellegrino is a man who is in no doubt that Southampton is a club that has all the potential required to grow even further and take the next step in its own development.
Last season marked a fourth consecutive finish inside the top eight of the Premier League, although it was also the first time in three campaigns that Saints had not qualified for European football.
i would like to keep the best things from the past and try to improve, because the team doesn't have a limit.mauricio pellegrino
Pellegrino now arrives at the helm looking to build on that body of work and once again challenge the sides who finished above Southampton last term.
“We are in this step that it's really difficult that we can be more competitive,” explained the 45-year-old.
But he is confident he knows what needs to be done to achieve it: “Creating the special mood in the dressing room, outside the pitch and inside the pitch, with the people around the squad as well.
“When they showed me the structure of the club, the people that they have got working here – there are a lot of professionals working for 11 players every single day.
“It is like another team behind the 11 players who play the game. I felt that it is the suitable context for any manager in the world. Southampton have got this.”
Pellegrino has explained that he will bring his own philosophy to the team, but will equally look to identify each player’s strengths and play to them.
"For me, I think it is the middle point between what we have, what my players can do, and what I like to give them,” he said.
“Southampton has been playing a good level with the past few managers and I would like to keep the best things from the past and try to improve, because the team doesn't have a limit to improve.”
One of those past managers was fellow Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino – someone Pellegrino spoke to ahead of starting at Saints.
"We were talking about the club, about the team, about the possibility that the club has got to grow in the future,” he said.
“I felt quickly it would be a great opportunity for me. I am really grateful to Mauricio, and I would like to do the same and try to improve from the last few seasons, because the team have been playing at a good level and I have to take the best things from the past and try to improve to be better in the future.”