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Defeats won't unsettle Pochettino

03 Dec 2013 15:02:00

Defeats won't unsettle Pochettino

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned his players must not let successive Barclays Premier League defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea derail what has so far been a promising campaign.

The Saints host Aston Villa on Wednesday looking to recover from back-to-back losses against sides challenging for the title which have seen his team slip out of the top four.

However, Pochettino believes Southampton can take confidence from their performances at the Emirates Stadium - where a blunder by goalkeeper Artur Boruc gifted the Gunners their opening goal - and then Stamford Bridge on Sunday, when the visitors had gone ahead after just 13 seconds through Jay Rodriguez only to eventually lose 3-1, with Boruc suffering a broken hand which will sideline him for up to six weeks.

"We don't have time to dwell on our two consecutive defeats because we are only thinking about tomorrow's game," Pochettino said at a press conference.

"All we can do is recover, to get our energy back and try to fix the mistakes we have made in the past to make sure they do not happen again.

"We have lost on two very difficult grounds at Arsenal and Chelsea, so now all we can do is prepare as well as we can for the next game.

"We will try to impose our values, the way we want to play and get the win over Aston Villa."

Pochettino added: "We may have suffered two defeats, but overall we competed very well against two very tough sides.

"We did make some mistakes which meant it was not possible for us to win those games, but in none of those cases were Arsenal or Chelsea superior to Southampton.

"It is true we also did not manage some little details.

"The two goals we conceded against Chelsea came from set-pieces and the first of which came from the free-kick where Boruc suffered his injury.

"Up until that point we were managing the game well, had good chances and overall tomorrow will be a good test to see if we can get back to our winning ways and I am sure we can do that."

Boruc sustained a fractured hand when attempting to keep out an effort from Chelsea forward Demba Ba at the start of the second half.

Ba's shot hit the post, but the ball ricocheted nicely for Gary Cahill to force the ball over the line to equalise.

Stand-in Paulo Gazzaniga was beaten twice more as the Blues rallied to what was in the end a comfortable victory to move back to within four points of leaders Arsenal.

Given the hectic festive schedule, Boruc could miss some eight matches if he needed a six-week recovery time.

Reserve Kelvin Davis is also sidelined, so 21-year-old Argentine Gazzaniga - who was signed from Gillingham and made 11 appearances last season - looks set for an extended run of unexpected first-team action.

"Artur has an injury in his hand, and right now it is difficult to know how many weeks he will be out for, but we know it will be for some weeks," Pochettino said.

"(Who will replace him) is easy to know if you see that Kelvin Davis is out and Artur Boruc is out, then who is left? I am not going to put any outfield players in goal."

French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will not play against Villa because of a groin injury picked up on Sunday and Gaston Ramirez is also not yet match fit.

Southampton have yet to lose at home in the Premier League, while Aston Villa have suffered only one away defeat, with two wins and three draws.

"I am expecting a physical game," Pochettino said.

"Aston Villa are a strong side and very good on the counter-attack, especially when they are playing away.

"Overall we are expecting a really tough match because of all the global aspects of this match."


PA

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