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Daily Echo

New Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino wants to win over fans with 'hard work and honesty'

Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino

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NEW SAINTS manager Mauricio Pochettino promised to try and win over his club's fans with ''hard work and honesty'' after his whirlwind appointment.

The little-known 40-year-old replaced Nigel Adkins in the St Mary's hot-seat this morning, with the popular Adkins sacked despite taking the club to 15th in the Premier League after back-to-back promotions.

The new Saints manger faced the press at St. Mary's this afternoon and is well aware he has to win over fans unhappy at the departure of Nigel Adkins.

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.''

In making the decision, executive chairman Nicola Cortese said in a statement he was looking at the long-term future of the club.

Saints drew 2-2 at European champions Chelsea on Wednesday night - a considerable feat seeing as they were in the League One relegation zone when Adkins took the job in September 2010.

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