Southampton assistant manager Jesus Perez defended Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to make six changes from Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Hull – after the Saints crashed out of the FA Cup to Sunderland today.
Saints manager Pochettino, who was sending out his team for the fourth time this term against the Black Cats, made six changes with Kelvin Davis, Nathaniel Clyne, Jos Hooiveld, Victor Wanyama, Guly Do Prado and James Ward-Prowse replacing Artur Boruc, Calum Chambers, Jose Fonte, Jack Cork, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez.
The defeat ended Southampton’s eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions, and Perez said: “We pick our strongest team where we can. We decided to play with the best 11 after the game at Hull during the week.
“Our team is strong and all the players are available to play. We picked the strongest team.
“There are players that needed a couple of days to recover and some players with illness or just a lack of freshness... we have nothing more to say.
“We are a little bit sad to lose this opportunity to go forward in the FA Cup but nothing to say about our players.”
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