Southampton may have gone five games unbeaten, conceding just three goals and losing just one game so far this Premier League season, but Mauricio Pochettino is not getting carried away just yet.
In his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Fulham this Saturday, Pochettino was asked about his sides impressive start to the season, with the Saints occupying 6th position in the Premier League. Whilst Pochettino was quick to praise his players for their eye-catching start to the season. At this time last year, the Saints were 18th with just one win from their opening eight games, having conceded twenty-four goals in the process.
“I’m very proud of the players’ performances. They are the protagonists in this team,” Pochettino told the assembled media, "We have a footballing philosophy of defending high up the pitch and taking lots of risks to keep the ball far from our goal."
However, when pressed on his side holding a defensive record that can only be bettered by Serie A title challengers AS Roma, Pochettino was more than aware that nothing has been achieved yet. Speaking to the press, the Southampton manager said: "It's a long campaign, there are many games to come,"
"Statistics are just statistics. They're there at the end of the season, but they really mean nothing."
Come Saturday, Pochettino will be facing former Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax Amsterdam manager Martin Jol in the dugout, but the Argentinian was appreciative of Fulham's start to the season and believes the Saints have cause to be wary.
"Fulham are a side with very talented players. Their position in the league is not reflective of how they are playing. We know they will make things tough for us, so we’ll have to work hard to get a positive result from this game."
The Southampton manager went on to confirm that Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis' place in the side is in doubt after a training ground injury which may see him miss the game against his former side this Saturday. A full assessment will be carried out tomorrow.
Southampton drew 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend, whilst opponents Fulham put a final nail in the coffin of Ian Holloway's tenure as manager of Crystal Palace, handing the Eagles a 4-1 defeat at Selhurst Park.
Whilst Pochettino did not want to comment on the decisions of fellow Premier League clubs, he did offer kind words of support to Ian Holloway, and revealed that he hopes to share the former Blackpool manager's company again soon.
"I can't really speak about the scenario with Ian Holloway and Crystal Palace. I can only really express my sympathy. No one likes to see a colleague get sacked. I send him my best wishes and hope that we meet again."
image: © mischatuffield