Southampton's Mauricio Pellegrino comes out firing after Tottenham draw: 'I am not afraid of losing my job'

Pellegrino has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks

Luke Brown
St Mary's Stadium
Sunday 21 January 2018 21:14
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Mauricio Pellegrino was pleased with his team's point
Mauricio Pellegrino was pleased with his team's point

Mauricio Pellegrino compared football management to sitting in an electric chair after Southampton’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s, but nevertheless insisted that he was “not afraid to lose my job.”

Southampton, whose run of 11 league games without a win is the worst of any team in England’s top four divisions, took a shock lead against Tottenham through Davinson Sanchez’s own-goal, only for Harry Kane to equalise three-minutes later.

Southampton however deserved their point and had twice as many shots on target as a below-par Tottenham, who came close to losing the game when 17-year-old substitute Michael Obafemi spurned a glorious chance for the hosts late on.

Pellegrino has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks and his future at the club appeared to be thrown into even more doubt when Watford dispensed with the services of their manager Marco Silva, who had previously been linked with the Southampton manager’s job.

But the Spaniard declared he did not fear being sacked — although admitted the perils of football management was somewhat similar to sitting in an electric chair.

“I fear for a lot of things but I do not fear for my job,” he said after the scrappy draw, which sees Southampton remain 18th in the Premier League table.

“I am not afraid to lose my job because football has always been a part of my life, ever since I was 10-years-old, and in football even when you win a game the next Monday you have to train in order to win again. This is football — if you don’t want to lose then don’t play the game.”

Pellegrino will be happier with the point

About his electric chair comment, he said: “They asked me if i was worried about my job. When they asked me about if I’m worried about my job, I said it as a joke. That’s how I meant it. The manager is an easy employment to lose. It’s very difficult to be sitting in the same chair for a long time.”

Pellegrino praised his team for their vastly improved performance, as they won just their sixth point since beating Everton 4-1 on 26 November.

He also denied his players had been fighting for his future, as the speculation around his job security at St Mary’s continues.

Pellegrino described management as “like sitting in an electric chair”

“We played good football with a good attitude,” he said. “We played an amazing side and they don’t need too much action to create problems. But we sustained well in some moments and caused problems until the end. We could have lost, we could have won. So we are heading in the right path. We are in trouble now with our position but in three or four weeks everything can change.

“The players are not just fighting for me but for themselves. And they are fighting for the club. Southampton Football Club is bigger than me and all of the players. We have to respect the fans and the board and all of the people who believe is us.”

The struggling club have been linked with moves for Spartak Moscow winger Quincy Promes and Monaco striker Guido Carrillo, and Pellegrino added that he “hoped next week in the market will be a good week for us”.

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