Southampton 0 Everton 0
New Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed his troops are the Saints were held to a goalless draw by Everton at St Mary’s last night.
Pochettino controversially replaced Nigel Adkins as Saints boss last week and Argentine said his side “deserve a lot of credit” for their display against an Everton side who lost Ireland international Seamus Coleman to a thigh strain in the second half.
Pochettino, speaking through an interpreter, said: “I want to thank the players for the three days working with them, they have done very well.
“I want to thank the supporters for the very kind reception they have given me, it was amazing.
“Tonight we have done very well and created at least seven good chances to score.
“The only shame was that we didn’t score the goals but we created a lot of chances facing a very good side in Everton who are fifth in the league. We deserve a lot of credit although we did suffer a bit more in the second half. But we were creating chances and just needed that bit more luck.”
Asked how he had enjoyed his first Premier League game, he added: “I really enjoyed the game today. When you’re watching it from outside you don’t realise the dimensions and how big it is, but when you’re inside you realise how amazing it is and why people who have worked here say its such an amazing league.”
Southampton captain Rickie Lambert agreed with Pochettino’s assessment that the Saints did enough to take all three points.
Lambert himself was to blame for missing two good chances in the first half and the two sides cancelled each other in the final 45 minutes.
“It was a good point but it’s disappointing not to get all three,” Lambert said. “Especially in the first half we played some really good football and I should have put at least one, maybe two away.
“I’m disappointed not to put one in the back of the net but we played well defensively and that’s positive.
“Everything I’ve seemed to touch has gone in lately, but today it wasn’t to be. I was still hoping to get a chance in the second half but it didn’t come.”
The result puts Southampton four points clear of the drop zone, while Everton are fifth, three points behind Tottenham in the fight for Champions League football.
Manager David Moyes had few complaints about the result after admitting his side put in a disappointing display particularly in the first half.
“After the way we played in the first half I was frustrated,” he said. “In the second half we got good opportunities but we couldn’t nick a goal.
“We didn’t play well and Southampton have been playing well. I’ve been to see them a couple of times and they continued that form, particularly in the first half.
“I’ve got to say I thought their team did really well. I give Nigel (Adkins) a lot of credit. I saw his team play at Chelsea and they were excellent. Now there’s a new manager taking over the reins and they’ve played well.”
Referring to Coleman’s injury, Moyes added: “It looks like a thigh strain.’’
SOUTHAMPTON: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Ramirez (S Davis 71), Cork, Guly (Rodriguez 62), Puncheon (De Ridder 87), Lambert.
EVERTON: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Neville, Coleman (Anichebe 58), Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic (Mirallas 66), Naismith.
Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
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