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Mar 29, 2013

Pochettino: Saints not just giant-killers

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is adamant his side are capable of performing against the Premier League's lesser lights – they just haven't shown it yet.

• Blog: How to banish the Blues

Since taking over in January, Pochettino has overseen impressive victories against Manchester City and Liverpool. But in the same period he has also watched Southampton drop points against fellow strugglers Norwich, QPR and Wigan.

Saints have been accused of raising their game for the more illustrious opponents, something Pochettino denies.

"I don't fully agree with that," he told the club's official website. "If you look at the victories we got against Manchester City and Liverpool it might look like we raise our game against those games, but I don't think that is the case because we played well against Wigan and Norwich, but perhaps weren't lucky enough to get the three points in those games.

"We had a very good result against Liverpool and when you get a result like that you want to carry on playing games trying to get more results like that."

The club now face another tough test as they prepare for the visit of Chelsea in the Premier League. Pochettino is confident that despite the international break he will be able to select a side capable of challenging the Blues.

"We knew all about the calendar and that the international break was coming, so there was nothing we could do to change that, we just need to be really focused and on top form for the visit of Chelsea," he said.

"We have worked really well with the players that were available to us over the two weeks.

"It was a shame that when we have a lot more time available to work that the international players are not available, but that is the way things are and we have to accept that.

"We hope that all the international players report back uninjured and fully focused on the game at the weekend. Everyone has arrived back apart from Gaston [Ramirez] who will arrive on Friday morning because his flight back from Chile was delayed due to a fault with the plane, so we will see how he arrives and make a decision on him."

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