Pochettino unmoved by Mackay misery

Pochettino unmoved by Mackay misery
Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino is not bothered about what is going on with Malky Mackay at Cardiff as the Southampton manager’s only concern is getting his side back to winning ways in south Wales.

Life under Vincent Tan has never been straightforward for City fans, but things reached a farcical new low when the controversial owner told Mackay to resign or face the axe.

The Scot had expected to be relieved of his duties over the course of the weekend, but was given a reprieve of sorts as chairman Mehmet Dalman confirmed he would stay in charge for the “foreseeable future’.

That statement did include the caveat that there would need to be a thawing of relations between owner and manager – working conditions that have been widely condemned by fans, colleagues and pundits.

Saints boss Pochettino, though, was not keen to add his voice to the growing chorus of anger.

For the former Argentina international, his only concern right now is stopping the rot at the Cardiff City Stadium on Boxing Day after six winless matches.

“Our biggest challenge right now, is to recover to winning ways,” Pochettino said when asked about the turmoil at City.

“We can’t really be thinking about Cardiff, we can’t really be thinking about what is happening at their club.

“Our most important target right now is to recover our level, recover to winning ways and recover our players individually and collectively.

“We need to think about what this club does and we can’t really be thinking about anything else.”

Southampton’s dramatic dip in form has made their fine start to the season a distant memory.

Pochettino’s side would have gone top of the Barclays Premier League with victory at Arsenal a month ago, but defeat at the Emirates Stadium began a six-match winless streak.

The fixture list has been unkind in that period – Aston Villa were the only side not in the hunt for a Champions League place – but it is injuries that have had the biggest impact.

Pochettino has had to contend with a host of first-team absentees throughout December, but there at least appears to be light at the end of the tunnel with a quartet possibly returning at Cardiff.

“We need to assess how some of our players are doing, such as Dani Osvaldo, Luke Shaw, Nathaniel Clyne and Kelvin Davis,” he said.

“On the other hand, players like Artur Boruc, Victor Wanyama and Guly are out indefinitely.

“They are out for longer, still recovering from their injuries.

“That has been one of the main reasons for our run and we need our players fully fit so we can recover.

“Jose Fonte had a slight problem, as did Maya Yoshida (which is why they were on the bench against Tottenham).

“It has been a tough moment at this team because some of our players are having personal problems that have perhaps not been spoken about.

“We are having a tough time with illness, different injuries and that means even though we have played well, our performances have been good, our results have not come our way.

“Now we just need to fully recover 100 per cent our energy. We need to be fully focused on the task in hand and try to get back to winning ways.”

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