The decision to sack Nigel Adkins and replace him with a manager who was unfamiliar to many on this isle caused much consternation.

However, wins over Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and most recently Reading have seen Southampton leap to 11th in the table, six points away from danger. One more will surely be enough to secure Premier League football for another season.

It is a moot point whether Adkins would have equalled his successor’s results. The fact is Mauricio Pochettino is getting his Saints team to play good football with some excellent results against the big boys, and if they can find consistency against the lesser lights of the Premier League, Southampton will be competing in the top rather than the bottom half. Pochettino, however, is not thinking too far ahead.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Pochettino said: "What I do feel is that we played a very good game but there is still a lot of points to be won ahead and our goal is just the next game against West Ham.

"What’s important is that we won and we’ve got 37 points.

"I don’t really analyse. I think the media analyses what happens on the pitch.

"I think I’m a pretty relaxed person. I like to work with my players on the training pitch.

"The team has been playing well and I’m proud of what the players are doing.

"The club has brought me in to do a job and I’m doing it well so I’m just pleased overall.

"I have been managing the team for ten games now and I have never spoken about any goals at the end of the season, only the next goal, the next objective, is the next rival and the next game."

Saints should be confident of winning their next game, at home to West Ham, and even with a trip to a stuttering Tottenham, there is a real chance they could win all their remaining fixtures to gatecrash the top half of the table come the end of the season.

Regardless, Southampton should be safe with one more win as the teams at the bottom will take points off each other, and sides like Sunderland and Stoke are in dire form. The gamble with Pochettino looks to have paid off, for now, and one more win should secure the Argentine tactician further opportunities to impress.


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