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Gaffer: Our Style Similar to Swansea's

PUBLISHED

18:26 18th April 2013

Mauricio Pochettino hopes his side will be able to revert to their preferred way of playing at Swansea on Saturday.

Saints head to Wales on Saturday on the back of last weekend’s draw with West Ham, a side known for their physicality and direct manner.

The Swans, on the other hand, are famed for their pass rate and attractive playing style – something Pochettino feels his side also have in their locker.

And the gaffer is looking forward to pitting his wits against opposition boss Michael Laudrup, with the duo having previously faced off when they were managing in Spain.

“First of all, I want to congratulate Swansea because they have won silverware this season,” Pochettino told the press this afternoon.

“Of course, I know Laudrup from playing and managing in Spain so I am aware of his qualities – he is a very good manager and has been progressing Swansea.

“I was reading an interview with him in a Spanish newspaper, where he said that the managers before him in Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez meant Swansea had been playing under the same philosophy for some time now.  

“Swansea’s brand of football is quite established, and their way of playing is quite similar to what we’re trying to do here at Southampton.

“I do think that we play with qualities from the English game, but we add to that with our experience of formations and education as continental managers.

“It is going to be a tough game, and a very different one to the one against West Ham because they play in a different styles,” he continued.

“They demand different things from you. That doesn’t mean either style is better or worse, just that we need to treat the games in a different manner.

“We will come up against a very good team in what is a tough place to go, so we are fully aware that it will be a tough game.”

Ninth-placed Swansea are just three points ahead of Saints in the Premier League standings, with Laudrup saying victory on Saturday will help his side’s case for a top-half finish.

And, while Pochettino says he is also hopeful of guiding his team to the top ten, he is simply focusing on individual games rather than an end-of-season target.

“I feel exactly the same as Michael – we want to win against Swansea and then we will see where we are,” he said.

“Our goal is always to get the three points – I don’t really think about any long-term goals. 

“Only at the end of the season will we see where we have finished, so all we think about is going to get the three points.”

In terms of team news, Pochettino revealed that he has doubts over Guly (illness) and Kelvin Davis (leg) ahead of the trip to the Liberty Stadium.

However, he is confident that the likes of Jay Rodriguez, Luke Shaw and Jason Puncheon have recovered from the illness that restricted them from starting against West Ham last Saturday.

“Most of the players are available but Guly was unable to train today because he was going through a fever,” said the manager. 

“Aside from him, most of the team are training and performing well – the only other doubt that we have is Kelvin so we will have to see on Friday how the final list takes shape.”

Pochettino also confirmed that José Fonte this afternoon followed in the footsteps of Davis in becoming a father.

Kelvin welcomed son Buddy last week, and the manager is hoping José’s new arrival is similarly well-behaved!

“I want to send José a big hug from me and all the staff,” said Pochettino. “He didn’t train today, but hopefully he will on Friday and be available for Saturday.

“Kelvin’s kid sleeps all night so he has no problems, and hopefully José’s kid will be the same!”

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