Football - Pochettino faces up to Saints challenge

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

PA Sport

The little-known 40-year-old replaced Nigel Adkins in the St Mary's hot-seat on Friday 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."

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