Saturday 21 April 2018

It’s Southampton’s future, not mine, that matters, says Saints boss Pellegrino

Pellegrino has managed five league wins since taking over last summer.

Paul Lambert and Mauricio Pellegrino
Paul Lambert and Mauricio Pellegrino

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Mauricio Pellegrino insists he has no concerns about his future as Southampton manager after their poor home form continued with a goalless draw against fellow strugglers Stoke.

Saints dominated the second half at St Mary’s, but have now gone a club record eight Premier League home games without success stretching back more than three months.

They remain a point above the relegation zone after substitute Sofiane Boufal wasted their best opportunity by heading wide when unmarked, while Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland produced a string of fine saves to deny Josh Sims, Cedric Soares and Nathan Redmond.

Asked about his position, Argentinian Pellegrino replied: “For me the most important thing now is Southampton, more than me.

“Southampton is more important than the players and the manager. It’s amazing that we’re part of something that is more important than everyone.

“We are obviously disappointed with the result. Frustrated? No. Frustrated is when you give up.

“In the second half we played much better than them to try to win and I think we deserved it.

“You have to score goals, we couldn’t do it. We have to use the second half as a reference for the future.”

Southampton’s disheartened supporters booed their team off at the end of each half.

They have seen the club win just three league games on their own pitch this season, with the most recent of those victories coming against Everton on November 26.

“Obviously we understand the feeling of the fans,” added Pellegrino.

“We are working really hard to try turn this situation up.

“We have to do away to get those points that we couldn’t get at home. We have to continue doing the job that we did in the second half.

“Our fans we understand because Southampton we are everybody – the players, the fans, the board, the staff, everybody.

“Now we have to be all together pushing, giving energy to try to be as strong as we can until the end.”

Stoke boss Paul Lambert hailed Butland as the best goalkeeper in the league after he excelled on the south coast.

The England international was at fault for the goal he conceded in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Leicester, but he bounced back in superb style to earn the second-bottom Potters a point.

“It’s funny because the Leicester game when he made the mistake, I think he’s had two world-class saves after that. So I knew then he was totally fine,” said Lambert, whose team are a point from safety.

“I think first half he had nothing to do, second half he made three world-class saves.

“But, I’ve said before, I think he’s the best one around and I think he’s got a fabulous future ahead of him.

“He’s a big goalkeeper, but as a guy he’s a proper bloke, just a really nice professional, low maintenance and looks after himself.

“And I think he’s going to be a big player for Stoke and for England.”

Press Association

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