Pochettino pleased with luckless Saints
Published 22/01/2013 | 15:40
New Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with the effort from his players in his first game in charge, but was left bemoaning a lack of good fortune.
Pochettino, who was given a warm welcome by the home fans despite rumours of protests against the sacking of Nigel Adkins, oversaw a 0-0 draw at home to Everton. Rickie Lambert hit the post and had a header cleared off the line before half-time and former Espanyol coach Pochettino was left ruing his side's inability to convert their chances.
When asked if his side deserved to win he said: "Yes maybe on another night but that's football. 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."
The 40-year-old stressed that his game plan was to attack Everton from the off as he went in search of a debut win.
He said: "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."
"Everyone is behind the new coaching staff and the new gaffer, and tonight we showed that," he said. We put in a good shift and I think we could have won the game, so I'm sure we will win some more games if we keep playing like that.
"The gaffer told us that we had seven clear chances in the first half, so we could have scored. That's football - when you don't score, you are exposed to conceding but today we stuck in there."
Everton captain Phil Neville felt his side could have easily gone in at half-time 3-0 down. The Toffees moved to within three points of the Champions League spots in the Barclays Premier League courtesy of the draw but Neville was aware Everton were not at the races in the early stages of the game.
"We were so lucky to come in at half time 0-0," he told EvertonTV. "If the score had been two or three nil to them I don't think we would have had too much to complain about. We just didn't start the game well. Southampton, with the new manager, came out of the traps really quickly. They had some chances and Tim Howard kept us in the game."