Mauricio Pochettino realises challenge in winning over Southampton fans

Argentine replaces the popular Nigel Adkins

New Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino promised to try and win over his club's fans with “hard work and honesty” after his whirlwind appointment.

The little-known 40-year-old replaced Nigel Adkins in the St Mary's hot-seat this morning, with the popular Adkins sacked despite taking the club to 15th in the Barclays Premier League after back-to-back promotions.

Former captain Matt Le Tissier and a lot of the club's fans have reacted angrily to the news, but Pochettino has pledged to try and cool the mood with results on the pitch.

The former Espanyol manager spoke largely through an interpreter, but did say in English: "I am very happy to be here in this amazing weather. It happened quickly, small details are not important, it's important I'm here at this project and club."

He added in Spanish: "They have done really well in the Premiership. In Spain we follow it closely. I am a great admirer of English football and am happy to be here."

Pochettino, a 20-cap Argentina international in his playing days, added he had spoken to Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho about the move, while conceding he has to address the issue of supporter unrest.

"The challenge is to be part of this project, the kindness of the supporters is the biggest challenge I have," he said at a news conference.

"They are the biggest part of this club and I hope I can convince them with honest and hard work.

"I am very passionate about the Premier League. I have seen many games, the Premier League is an attractive league and I have spoken to people at length about it, people such as Jose Mourinho, who is a good friend of mine.

"He told me the best football in the world is being played here."

In making the decision, executive chairman Nicola Cortese said he was looking at the long-term future of the club.

The Saints drew 2-2 at European champions Chelsea on Wednesday night - a considerable feat seeing as they were in the League One relegation zone when Adkins took the job in September 2010.

"This decision has been made with the long-term ambitions of Southampton Football Club in mind," said Cortese in a statement.

"Whilst we acknowledge the contribution Nigel has made during the past two years, for the club to progress and achieve our long-term targets a change was needed.

"Mauricio is a well-respected coach of substantial quality who has gained a reputation as an astute tactician and excellent man-manager. I have every confidence that he will inspire our talented squad of players to perform at the highest possible level.

"He also shares my belief that the most successful clubs are built by nurturing young players through a development system that provides a clear path to the first team, thereby creating a culture that keeps them at the club for the long term.

"This is an approach he has employed with great success in the past and I look forward to him bringing that experience and expertise to Southampton."

Pochettino's first game in charge will be Monday night's clash with Everton.

The fans are likely to at least show support for Adkins but, according to Le Tissier, they should not be surprised at what has happened.

"It doesn't surprise me," he told Sky Sports News.

"It's a strange time of the season, they've lost two of the last 12 games and came from 2-0 down to draw at Chelsea.

"(But) it seems to be the way the club's being run under the chairman. Nothing's surprising and it's a bit of a laughing stock."

The ex-England international did concede the timing shocked him - Saints have been in good form and are clear of relegation trouble at present - but added he felt this could have been on the cards for some time.

"I'm shocked at the timing, it's very strange and it's an odd thing to come to terms with today," he said.

"I think he had a bit of pressure early on this season, people thought it might happen then; maybe they couldn't get the man they wanted then. It's all very strange."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star