Before Mauricio Pochettino’s first match in charge of Southampton back in January, supporters were encouraged to bring along white handkerchiefs to protest against the sacking of Nigel Adkins.
It failed to materialise and if there are any remaining Southampton fans still not convinced by Pochettino, the presence of three Saints players in Roy Hodgson’s latest England squad and a Premier League Manager of the Month award for October has surely won them around this season. Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana will join the England camp with regular Rickie Lambert after today’s meeting with Hull City that could see Southampton climb as high as second this evening should Chelsea and Liverpool fail to win their respective games.
It may be too early to talk of a sustained push for Champions League qualification but with Hodgson also name-checking right-back Nathaniel Clyne and Under-21 squad members James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw, Pochettino could see no reason why more of his players will not be rewarded in the future.
“In football nothing really surprises me,” he said. “I think Jay fully deserves the call-up following his run recently. He’s had really good progress. I am really happy for him and the other two players. We are really proud of the three of them.”
When asked about Ward-Prowse and Shaw, Pochettino added: “I think if they continue working as hard as they have been doing so far they will definitely get there.
“They need time to mature and grow still as players. They are very young still, but with patience and hard work they definitely have the potential to get there one day. It’s too soon to say when that will happen but they definitely have the profile to be in the England senior side.”