sport

Ward-Prowse's Pochettino hope

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse is hoping that Mauricio Pochettino will stay at the club despite speculation linking him to the managerial position at Tottenham.

The 19-year-old has established himself as a regular at St Mary's under the guidance of Pochettino, featuring 34 times in the Premier League last season after progressing through the club's famed youth system.

Pochettino, who was appointed in January last year, has seen his stock continue to rise after leading the Saints to an impressive eighth-place finish and is the favourite to replace Tim Sherwood at White Hart Lane.

Rumours have been rife regarding the futures of a number of Saints stars - as well as their manager - and Ward-Prowse is keen to see Pochettino stay put, saying that he owes a lot of his development to the 42-year-old.

When asked about a possible exit for Pochettino, Ward-Prowse replied: "There has been a lot of talk about that.

"It would be a major blow to lose him - all the players love him.

"He has played me out of position on the right, so I've had to adapt. I've had to work on my game going forward - an area I needed to improve.

"Having done that, he has added another string to my bow. I feel I can now play in a number of different positions but he has not only helped me technically, he's helped me physically.

"I'm the fittest I've ever been in terms of the running he makes us do. We do two or three gym sessions a week that involve a lot of running and running with resistance.

"He demands a lot from us, and it is hard work, but it has been proved to work. None of us want to see him go. He is a fantastic manager and he has done really well."