Southampton news

Pochettino will review Saints role

January 16, 2014
By ESPN staff and Kevin Palmer

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will review his position at the club when this season comes to an end.

Mauricio Pochettino
PA PhotosMauricio Pochettino took charge of Southampton in January 2013.

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Southampton announced on Wednesday evening that Cortese, who brought former Espanyol coach Pochettino to the club a year ago, had left the club.

When Cortese’s future had been under scrutiny last year, Pochettino had said he would walk away if the Italian departed, but the Argentinean told a news conference on Thursday that he is now “100 percent committed” to the club.

While the Argentine tactician confirmed on Thursday that he would not immediately follow Executive Chairman Nicola Cortese out of the Saints exit door, his latest comments suggest his long-term future at the club remains uncertain.

“I will finish the season and then we will see what happens,” he told reporters. “It would make no sense for me to leave this club in the middle of the season, no one would understand it. I’m pretty sure Nicola would not understand that decision from me.

“It is clear that at the end of the season we will assess the situation at the club and then we will decide whether it will be apt for me to stay here for another season.

“Until the end of the season if the owners want me to be the manager, then I will be the manager at this club. When people change, things change, it’s inevitable that will happen, but I am still committed to this club for now.

“I want to show my gratitude to Nicola Cortese. I believed in him, he brought me here, my staff and my family. I am full of gratitude to him.

“Eight months ago when this happened we were finishing my first season and I did say that if he left there would be no sense for me to stay.

“The new situation is different. We are in the middle of our new project. Nicola knows of my decision to stay; I have spoken to him. I am fully committed to the staff, the players, the club and it would make no sense to leave in the middle of our path.”

Pochettino went on to suggest Southampton may struggle to replace the Cortese, with his departure leaving a huge hole at the club.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” he continued.  “It’s clear Nicola has great charisma, he has great charm, and also a tough character; he’s a very driven person.

“He’s a great negotiator, so what else can you add, he’s already the full package.”

Cortese’s exit has also led to speculation over the futures of players like Luke Shaw, but Pochettino maintains there will be no departures.

“I want to make one thing clear: no one is for sale at Southampton, no one,” he said. “And I believe the same thing. No player that I don't want to leave will leave this club.”

Pochettino has 17 months remaining on his contract and, although he acknowledged that there is an element of doubt, he said he hopes to see it out.

“It's very hard to say at the moment -- I think it's very soon to say about that -- but when I signed with Nicola, and we signed a number of players, I'm 100 percent committed to the two years of my contract and I'm 100 percent committed to those players.

“I have a contract and a responsibility to that.”

Pochettino said new non-executive chairman Katharina Liebherr has given him and his staff her full backing.

The 41-year-old added he expects Liebherr to appoint someone to handle transfers specifically, as she searches for a chief executive officer to replace Cortese.

“I met her for five minutes today,” he said. “She told me we have her full support, she wants the club to be stable, and that we need to look forward to the future.

“It's still too soon to talk about this [who deals with transfers], we will see in the future how the tasks are unfolded at this club, who does what at this club. I'm sure the club will designate a person to speak to about all of that.”

Pochettino, who said Cortese backed his decision to stay at the club, claimed he does not know exactly why the executive chairman resigned.

“What's quite clear is I have a very good relationship with Nicola Cortese,” he said. “He agrees with my decision to stay and there's nothing more I can say about that right now.

“He only asked me for one thing and that's to try to win on Saturday. I don't know [why he decided to leave], it's quite difficult to say, I found out yesterday as you did about his decision.

“Of course it has surprised me quite a bit, the same as the people involved with this club, and I knew nothing about his departure.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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