Southampton V Norwich at St. Mary's Stadium : Match Preview

14 March 2014 04:01
Southampton V Norwich - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Pochettino plans to stay at Saints

Mauricio Pochettino expects to be at Southampton next season and is looking forward to working with newly-appointed chairman Ralph Krueger.

Saints have enjoyed a successful season on the pitch under the Argentinian manager, but things off it have been tumultuous since the turn of the year.

The shock departure of executive chairman Nicola Cortese in January led to widespread talk of a meltdown at St Mary's, with many wondering whether Pochettino would follow him out of the club.

However, eight weeks on, the 42-year-old remains at the St Mary's helm and reports this week even suggested he was in advanced talks over a new deal.

Pochettino was coy when quizzed about his future on Friday morning, but was keen to point that his existing contract runs to the end of the 2014-15 season.

"I do have one more year on my contract, don't I?" he said.

"That also doesn't guarantee anything in football either."

Pochettino's future is likely to depend on how his relationship with Krueger develops.

Fresh from helping Canada to ice hockey gold at the Winter Olympics, the Canada-born German was named chairman of the holding company, St Mary's Football Group Limited, on Tuesday.

Krueger has been handed responsibility by owner Katharina Liebherr to lead the club forwards and he spoke glowingly about Pochettino and his staff upon his appointment.

"Of course it is always nice to hear someone has spoken nicely about someone and I thank him for that," the Saints boss said.

"It is clear that this club needs tranquillity after all the upheaval that happened at the beginning of January.

"There are two months left in the league competitions, a lot of changes this club is going through at this moment and it is clear right now we need good words to move forwards in a calm and relaxed manner at this football club."

Krueger will oversee his first match as chairman on Saturday, when Southampton host Norwich in the Barclays Premier League.

Jack Cork will miss the game and the next few weeks after sustaining an ankle injury in last weekend's win at Crystal Palace, while his replacement Victor Wanyama is a doubt. Back-up goalkeeper Kelvin Davis is the only other injury concern.

Norwich have no fresh injury concerns.

On-loan winger Jonas Gutierrez (calf) and centre-back Michael Turner (hamstring) returned to first-team training this week and winger Elliott Bennett (knee) will join the group next week as the trio near on-field returns, but the St Mary's trip comes too soon.

Holland midfielder Leroy Fer (hamstring) is in light running, but is weeks away from a return.

Robert Snodgrass has issued a rallying cry for Norwich to be masters of their own destiny, rather than their downfall.

The Canaries enter Saturday's match at Southampton needing four wins in the remaining nine games to reach the 40-point mark many managers target for Premier League safety.

Scotland midfielder Snodgrass believes Norwich would be better off than four points clear of the relegation zone had they taken their chances in matches such as last week's with Stoke - who held on to draw despite being reduced to 10 men - and called for his team-mates to determine their own fate.

"We've not been able to capitalise on the opportunities we've had," Snodgrass said.

"The last two months we've had opportunities to stay unbeaten, but we've just shot ourselves in the foot and caused our own problems.

"That's why the lads are pulling their hair out, thinking 'what's the next step?'

"We were defending well against West Ham for 86 minutes, conceded two goals within five.

"We were in front against Cardiff. We conceded two goals within two minutes. I can go on.

"We've made those mistakes, but there's no better way to make a name for yourself by scoring the winner at St Mary's or keeping a cleansheet.

"I think that's what it takes. We need leaders, we need me, we need heroes.

"We do need people to stand up and those match-winners, myself included. Against Spurs it went for myself. We need more people to want to be the match-winner and the heroes."

Source: PA