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Gaffer Points To Second Half Showing

PUBLISHED

00:18 31st January 2013

Mauricio Pochettino has challenged his players to maintain the standards set in the second 45 minutes at Old Trafford.

2-1 down at half time against Manchester United, the First Team Manager sought an impact from Southampton, making a double substitution that had the desired effect.

Jason Puncheon and Gaston Ramirez were withdrawn in favour of the returning Adam Lallana and Steven Davis, but although there were no further goals,  Pochettino was pleased with the effort after the break.

“I am very happy with the second half performance, which is how we want to play going forward,” he told Saints Player

“We have shown that we can play in a brave manner in a stadium such as Old Trafford, especially in the second half we played really well and I think that we deserved to take at least a point from the game.

“The changes had the impact that we were looking for, but the team seemed to let its hair down and push forward a lot more.”

The introduction of Lallana added another dimension to Saints’ attacking threats, and Pochettino was pleased to have his team captain back in action. 

“We are very happy that he is back and has recovered well because he is very important for Southampton,” the gaffer explained. “Hopefully he can regain the rhythm to compete as best as he can.  

“I think especially in the second half we played as we should have done for the 90 minutes, I think it is important for the team to know that we can play that well and that we did that at Old Trafford.”

The performance even drew praise from Pochettino’s opposite number Sir Alex Ferguson, who claimed Saints put on one of the best performances against his side this season.

“I am very proud that he would say that about Southampton, that is very important for my players, but we still leave with nothing,” the Argentine highlighted. 

“We did play well, but I am upset at not drawing at least so those words don’t really console me very much!”

The transfer window slams shut on Thursday, and Pochettino hinted that there could be some late movement, but he will not be disappointed if the squad stays as it is.

“Tomorrow we will have to make some decisions,” he said. “We will see what we will do.  

“It is clear that if someone does come it will be to improve the squad that we have, otherwise I am very happy and content with the squad that I have.  

“There are some possibilities in the works and there are some players who are considering maybe leaving, so tomorrow will be an important day to make decisions.”

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