Thursday 13 December 2018

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino plays down importance of beating Burnley

Mauricio Pellegrino's Southampton have a tough set of fixtures coming up
Mauricio Pellegrino's Southampton have a tough set of fixtures coming up

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has played down the importance of beating Burnley ahead of a daunting run of Premier League fixtures.

Saints have managed a steady start to the season under the Argentinian and are currently 10th in the table having taken 13 points from their opening 10 games.

After hosting the Clarets on Saturday, their 10 remaining matches of 2017 include trips to Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United, as well as home games against Everton and Arsenal.

However, coach Pellegrino does not believe the tricky forthcoming challenges add any extra pressure to take three points at St Mary's this weekend.

"Not for me, because it is for everyone," he replied when asked if the game was particularly significant for Southampton.

"We have got points in the last three games and it's another opportunity to keep improving and convert these performances into points.

"OK, in the future we play against the biggest teams in the Premier League but we don't know (how those games will go).

"I'm really happy about that because, for me as a manager, to play against the biggest teams is something that we have to enjoy and I would like to see my players like we played against Man U (a 1-0 loss on September 23), we played really well.

"You don't know, competition in football, it's an opportunity to show how we are and we have to show every single week."

Over-achieving opponents Burnley find themselves in seventh position, three points ahead of Saints.

Sean Dyche's Clarets travel to the south coast looking to continue the impressive away form which has already seen them win at Chelsea and Everton and secure draws against Tottenham and Liverpool.

Pellegrino believes "outstanding" counterpart Dyche deserves the success he has achieved.

"I don't know him personally but I know how he has been working in the last few seasons with his team, how they are growing," Pellegrino added.

"His job is outstanding, thinking about a team that are really humble, working and playing with an identity, it's something that is really difficult to build.

"It's part of the process, the transition, when you keep the same ideas in the long term always you get results."

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport