sport

Time is tight for Pochettino

Southampton's new manager Mauricio Pochettino has just two days to make a positive impact before the Saints tackle Everton at Goodison Park.

The former Argentina international will take his first training session on Saturday after being recruited in controversial circumstances.

Nigel Adkins was sacked by the Saints on Friday, despite leading Southampton from League One to 15th in the Barclays Premier League with back-to-back promotions.

Southampton's decision promoted a furious reaction from supporters and former captain Matt Le Tissier said the club had become a "laughing stock".

Adkins retained his dignity and he left a message of encouragement to the squad which read: "Keep smiling. Have faith and belief that you are doing the right thing. Keep looking to improve."

Adkins' last game in charge was a 2-2 draw with European champions Chelsea which extended Southampton's unbeaten run in the Premier League to five matches.

Pochettino's immediate task is to maintain that momentum, a task which could be harder given he hardly speaks any English, but he is excited by the challenge.

"I'm an aggressive manager, in the positive sense, and I like to play dynamic, pressure football with an attacking nature that the fans can be proud of watching their team," he said.

"The biggest challenge is to win all the games that are ahead of us.

"That is the mentality that we need to have going into the games as a team.

"In the background there is a project and we'll keep on growing together as a club with one of the best academies in the country."

Adkins was such a favourite at St Mary's that Pochettino is well aware he will have to win over the angry supporters.

"I hope I can convince them with hard work, honesty and that they enjoy the way the club plays and they feel honoured and proud how the team is playing," he said.

Pochettino could have defender Vegard Forren available on Monday after the Norwegian international joined the club from Molde.

"When I was told of the interest from Southampton, straight away I wanted to come and talk to the chairman," said Forren, the Norwegian player of the year.

"There is a good, young squad here and the way they play fits me well, so I hope I can join the team and get some good results."