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Thursday 21 August 2014

Pochettino replaces Adkins at Saints

Published 18/01/2013 | 12:15

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Nigel Adkins has been sacked as Southampton manager

Southampton have sacked manager Nigel Adkins and replaced him with former Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino.

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The Saints are 15th in the Barclays Premier League after coming back from 2-0 down to claim a draw with European champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

But that was not enough to save Adkins from the axe, with 40-year-old former Argentina international Pochettino taking charge of training on Saturday ahead of Monday's home game with Everton.

Saints executive chairman Nicola Cortese said: "This decision has been made with the long-term ambitions of Southampton Football Club in mind. Whilst we acknowledge the contribution Nigel has made during the past two years, for the club to progress and achieve our long-term targets a change was needed.

"Mauricio is a well-respected coach of substantial quality who has gained a reputation as an astute tactician and excellent man-manager. I have every confidence that he will inspire our talented squad of players to perform at the highest possible level."

Pochettino promised to try and win over the club`s fans with "hard work and honesty" after his whirlwind appointment. He spoke largely through an interpreter, but did say in English: "I am very happy to be here in this amazing weather. It happened quickly, small details are not important, it`s important I`m here at this project and club."

He added in Spanish: "The challenge is to be part of this project, the kindness of the supporters is the biggest challenge I have. They are the biggest part of this club and I hope I can convince them with honest and hard work.

"I am very passionate about the Premier League. I have seen many games, the Premier League is an attractive league and I have spoken to people at length about it, people such as Jose Mourinho, who is a good friend of mine. He told me the best football in the world is being played here."

Former Southampton captain Matt Le Tissier criticised the decision to axe Adkins. Le Tissier told Sky Sports News: "It doesn't surprise me. It's a strange time of the season, they've lost two of the last 12 games and came from 2-0 down to draw at Chelsea. (But) it seems to be the way the club's being run under the chairman. Nothing's surprising and it's a bit of a laughing stock.

"I'm shocked at the timing, it's very strange and it's an odd thing to come to terms with today. I think he had a bit of pressure early on this season, people thought it might happen then; maybe they couldn't get the man they wanted then. It's all very strange."

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