English Premiership

Pochettino committed to Saints

2014-01-16 19:29
Mauricio Pochettino (AFP)

London - Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has said on Thursday that he intends to stay at the club despite the resignation of his ally Nicola Cortese as executive chairman.

Cortese left the club on Wednesday evening, with club owner Katharina Liebherr installing herself as non-executive chairwoman.

Speaking in May, Pochettino had declared that he would leave the club if Cortese ever did, but he told reporters on Thursday that he wanted to remain in his position.

"I want to show my gratitude to Nicola Cortese. I believed in him, he brought me here, my staff and my family. I am full of gratitude to him," Pochettino said.

"Eight months ago when this happened, we were finishing my first season and I did say that if he left there would be no sense for me to stay.

"The new situation is different. We are in the middle of our new project. Nicola knows of my decision to stay; I have spoken to him. I am fully committed to the staff, the players, the club and it would make no sense to leave in the middle of our path."

Cortese chose Pochettino to succeed the sacked Nigel Adkins in January last year and the Argentine subsequently steered the club to a 14th-place finish in the Premier League.

Southampton made a fine start to the current campaign, storming into the top four, but they have slipped to ninth place after recording only two wins in their last 10 matches.

Cortese's exit has prompted speculation in the British media that prized players such as young left-back Luke Shaw could now leave the club, but Pochettino said that he retained full control over transfer activity.

"I want to make one thing clear: no one is for sale at Southampton, no one," he said.

"And I believe the same thing. No player that I don't want to leave will leave this club."

Pochettino conceded that it was "very soon to say" whether or not he would see out the remaining 17 months of his contract, but he said that he had been given Liebherr's full backing.

"I met her for five minutes today," he said. "She told me we have her full support. She wants the club to be stable, and that we need to look forward to the future."

Pochettino also admitted that he did not know why Cortese had decided to leave the club.

"I don't know (why he decided to leave)," he said. "It's quite difficult to say. I found out yesterday, as you did, about his decision.

"Of course it has surprised me quite a bit, the same as the people involved with this club, and I knew nothing about his departure."

Read more on:    southampton  |  english premiership  |  soccer
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