Pochettino hails successful Saints

04 May 2014 01:01

Southampton will go into next Sunday's season finale against Manchester United installed as the most successful Saints side in Barclays Premier League history.

A 1-0 win against Swansea meant that Mauricio Pochettino's team reached 55 points, surpassing their previous highest Premier League points tally of 54 set after a 42-game season in 1994-95.

The feat comes as further confirmation of considerable strides made under Pochettino and glittering young talent like Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez.

"The three points were massive," said Pochettino, after England striker Rickie Lambert's scrambled injury time goal sunk Swansea.

"Perhaps it wasn't a spectacular game, but the win helped us achieve the maximum number of points that we have ever achieved in a Premier League season."

Lambert, who was not risked in the starting line-up after being unable to train for much of the week following a knock suffered against Everton seven days previously, mirrored Saints' sense of satisfaction with a guaranteed top-eight finish.

"I know some people say we don't look to the history, but we knew about it for a long time and we were desperate to break it (points total) because we know that it's a big achievement," Lambert told BBC Radio Solent.

"To have achieved what we have over the past four years, and then to progress to where we are now, tops off everything. It has been superb.

"It's full credit to everyone from top to the bottom.

"It has been a pleasure to play alongside everyone, and getting a win at the end of the away fixtures in front of the away fans is superb."

Lambert capitalised on an unexpected late opportunity at the Liberty Stadium after Swansea skipper Ashley Williams' attempted clearance ballooned high and behind goalkeeper Michel Vorm, dipping into the net off Lambert's back.

"It wasn't the best game was it?" he added.

"It wasn't the best game to play in either - there wasn't much happening, which was a bit frustrating - but I realised we could still break the record, so to do that with a win is great."

Reflecting on England World Cup hopeful Lambert's role off the bench, Pochettino said: "He received a knock in the game against Everton, and he wasn't able to train properly throughout the week.

"He wasn't fit enough to play the full 90 minutes, so we thought we would put him on the bench and bring him on in the second-half. We didn't want to take any risks with him.

"In the history of football there have been more bizarre goals than that one, but I guess it can happen in the world of football.

"I thought that overall we did very well. We are very happy with the victory we achieved, and with the team's performance.

"It's sort of a difficult game to play. Both clubs had already achieved their goals for the season.

"Mathematically, we couldn't go higher than eighth, but overall we played with a lot of intensity and in the manner that we know how to play."

Source: PA