Pochettino happy with schedule

27 December 2013 02:01

Most Premier League managers bemoan the busy festive period, but Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino is happy to have the games coming thick and fast as he prepares to take his side to Goodison Park to face Everton.

Saints recorded their first win in seven games against Cardiff on Boxing Day as two goals from Jay Rodriguez and one by Rickie Lambert secured a handsome 3-0 win over the Bluebirds.

There is little time to dwell on the result with the trip to Merseyside looming on the horizon, ahead of a New Year's Day meeting with Chelsea.

But former Argentina international Pochettino says he and his players have no issue with the schedule and, in fact, are relishing it.

He said: "I think we are thoroughly enjoying this period. We are getting paid to do what we enjoy.

"It is a busy period but we and the fans are enjoying this period.

"As someone who is passionate about football, this is a new experience for me but it is amazing and I am thoroughly enjoying it."

Everton suffered their first home defeat of 2013 against Sunderland on Boxing Day, which was also only the Toffees' second reverse of the season.

Roberto Martinez and his side will look to try and get back on track against the Saints and Pochettino knows Sunderland's win means his side's task will be no easier.

"It was the first time Everton have lost at home in all of 2013, we had wanted to be the side to break that record and beat them at Goodison Park, but Sunderland have beaten us to it," said Pochettino.

"But it is clear we will face a great side and a great manager in Roberto Martinez, and it will be very difficult."

Pochettino will assess the fitness of Dejan Lovren after illness forced the defender out of the Cardiff fixture, while Nathaniel Clyne and Dani Osvaldo are in contention.

But Artur Boruc (hand), Victor Wanyama (shin) and Guly do Prado (knee) remain sidelined.

"We had a last-minute illness to Lovren and that ruled him out versus Cardiff," said Pochettino. "We will assess him before Everton.

"There are players such as Clyne and Osvaldo that might be coming back.

"Then there are long-term injuries to Wanyama, Guly and Boruc, who will definitely not be back.

"It's always good when you get a win without some players because you get good energy and hopefully that will speed up the recovery process of the other players."

Source: PA