Tricky opening test for Saints' boss Pochettino
Southampton’s new manager, Mauricio Pochettino, is braced for a testing first experience of life in charge at St Mary’s this evening with supporters expected to vent their spleen over the sacking of Nigel Adkins.
That anger will be directed at the hierarchy and primarily the executive chairman Nicola Cortese, with support for Adkins to be bellowed from the stands and talk of fans waving white handkerchiefs to display their displeasure.
The playing staff were shocked by the timing of Adkins’ dismissal, with the team having lost only two of their last 12 league games, but remain focused on defeating Everton to aid their revival.
Pochettino took his first training session on Saturday, having met with three senior players – Lallana, Jose Fonte and Kelvin Davis – at St Mary’s the day before to gauge the mood within the squad.
The 40-year-old is also acutely aware of the success enjoyed under his predecessor.
Everton boss David Moyes is rethinking plans to sell Johnny Heitinga. The Dutch international had appeared a saleable asset but Moyes is keen to retain as much cover at centre-half as possible.
Darron Gibson is expected to return to first-team contention in the next fortnight.