MAURICIO Pochettino brought up his first year in charge of Southampton at the Stadium of Light today, with a disappointing end to a turbulent week.
The Saints are apparently in disarray behind the scenes following the sacking of executive chairman Nicola Cortese.
But just when it looked as though they would put those difficulties behind them with a comfortable away win at Sunderland today, the out-of-sorts Black Cats clawed back a point in a 2-2 draw.
“I’m disappointed to only draw the game,” said the Argentine through his interpreter, though the understatement looked to be all his own.
Southampton had been all over Sunderland for the first half-hour and could have been a street ahead had they taken their chances.
But, for the second time in this fixture this season, Southampton had to settle for a share of the spoils despite being the superior side.
“We needed to be more clinical in front of goal,” observed the Saints boss.
“We created many chances – twice as many as Sunderland – but we weren’t aggressive enough in taking them.
“In the future, we have to concentrate on our finishing when we are dominating the opposition like that.”
Not only did his side fail to get the win their play deserved, they also ended up with Gaston Ramirez and Dejan Lovren hospitalised.
“We deserved to win, but, in the end, we leave with one point and two injuries,” sighed Pochettino. “We hope they are not as bad as they seem.
“They are being taken to the hospital and being assessed and we hope they are not as bad as they looked – you could see they were in a lot of pain.
“I don’t know if the challenges were bad ones though. I will have to review the images on TV.”
As well as avoiding courting controversy over the challenges, he was also reluctant to be drawn into speculating on matters off the field too, with Southampton needing to reorganise after Cortese’s departure.
“It has been a tough week,” he acknowledged.
“I’m very happy with the performance of my players, though, who showed they are very good professionals and Southampton fans can be very proud of them.
“We have just focused on the game against Sunderland rather than things happening at Southampton.”
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