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Apr 25, 2013

Pochettino eyes Champions League

Mauricio Pochettino has talked up Southampton's progress under him by claiming he would like to aim for Champions League football next season.

• Rann: The Blank Swan

After signing a new contract with the club, goalkeeper Artur Boruc spoke of the club aiming for European football. But Pochettino who was appointed Saints' manager in January, and has since guided them to the brink of Premier League survival, is thinking bigger and sooner.

He said: "Why in a couple of years? It might be next year. I think in football if you have to be something, you have to be optimistic - why not dream of big achievements, big goals? We are an ambitious club and we have a clear way of how we want to proceed and the type of football we want to be playing, where there are means of getting that done.

"Why not put in the effort, the imagination to make that happen and dream together to reach for the stars, why not?"

Before thinking ahead to plans for next season, though, Pochettino is keen to finish this campaign with a flourish by ending in the top-half of the Premier League, something they can move closer to by beating West Brom on Saturday.

"It is really important for us finish the season well," he said. "We have to get the maximum number of points out of the games we have left, starting on Saturday.

"We know that the game against West Brom will be a tough one, we know they are a good side but at the same time we are on a good run of games. As I have said before, every game in the Premier League is a tough one and all of our rivals are tough to play against so we have to focus on Saturday to get a good result and continue the run."

Once the season is over Pochettino is keen to reinforce his squad with new signings and says any player that can improve the current standards will be welcomed.

"I think there is already a good level of quality of footballers in my squad," he added. "But we are open as a club to try and reinforce in the positions we feel we need to improve - logically if we have the chance to improve then of course we will go for those players and I'm sure that my squad and the club itself would welcome new signings."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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