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Pochettino proving Cortese chose well at Southampton

Nigel Adkins was controversially sacked by Southampton early this year, but his replacement is showing he is a man to be trusted.

There was a huge collective outcry of 'foul' from the football world when Nigel Adkins was sacked as Southampton manager in January.

Adkins had after all secured Southampton two successive promotions from League One and the Championship, and the Saints were sitting comfortably if not securely away from the relegation zone.

Chairman Nicola Cortese showed he is not shy of making tough decisions, but firing the manager two days after the side battled back to claim a 2-2 draw away to Chelsea surprised most.

Even the players were stunned, especially as replacement Mauro Pochettino was very much an unknown quantity.

The Argentine had managed with Espanyol in Spain with moderate success, but he was best known to English fans as 'the defender who tripped up Michael Owen in 2002'.

There was hope that amid the furore over Adkins' sacking, that Cortese had chosen well with his replacement despite the obvious inexperience, but Pochettino is silencing any doubters.

After a baptism of fire at Old Trafford, in which Southampton narrowly lost 2-1, Pochettino has rallied his troops and begun enhancing his side's survival chances.

He has been compared to Swansea's Michael Laudrup, being a young fresh face in the managerial world who has come over from La Liga and likes to  play attacking football.

With Southampton's quality, he has really been able to co-erce the best out of his squad, even if at times the defending remains suspect.

You get the feeling that if he can reach the end of the season with survival assured, which at this stage appears likely, he will set about rectifying those issues in the summer transfer window.

There have been tough results, the 4-2 defeat to Newcastle and 2-1 loss to relegation rivals QPR, but the wins over Manchester City and Liverpool have really shown the club is moving in the right direction.

Brendan Rodgers blamed Liverpool's loss on 'a bad day at the office' at the weekend, but that only serves to detract from the excellence of Southampton, and the good form of strikers Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.

Sacking Adkins could have been a disaster with the club looking steady, and their direction all rested on the back of the man selected to replace him.

Say whatever you like about the decision by Nicola Cortese to fire the man who brought the club two successive promotions, so far his choice of Mauro Pochettino as replacement is looking like a very good one indeed.

Southampton fans how happy are you with Pochettino?

image: © ingythewingy

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