Cut out the cockiness warns Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino after Norwich City Premier League win
06:30 17 March 2014
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Mauricio Pochettino warned his Southampton side to cut out the cockiness if they want to the be real deal in the Premier League after surviving a late scare in the 4-2 win over Norwich.
The Saints were in complete control until Johan Elmander and Robert Snodgrass struck five minutes from the end to set up a tense finale before Sam Gallagher sealed the win in stoppage time following earlier goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.
“We learnt a very important lesson. You can’t take anything for granted until the game is finished,” said Pochettino, speaking through his interpreter. “It goes to show that in football you can’t afford to let your guard down until the final whistle has been blown. We suffered a bit at the end. We’re a young side that’s still growing. I thought the game was overall in our control. It is true that we were well satisfied with the game at 3-0, but it goes to show when you lose a little bit of focus and you lay your guard down, we basically made two quick mistakes and conceded two soft goals.”
Pochettino stopped short of labelling his young side complacent after cruising into a commanding lead.
“We lacked focus at the back and you can’t take anything for granted in the Premier League,” said the Argentine. “We were far superior to Norwich throughout the game and we were playing against a very good team. I don’t think there was any complacency. Overall I thought the game was controlled. The important thing is that we always believe in the style and philosophy of how we play.
“We always want to play our way, like a big team and a team that is on the way to winning the Premier League. That is our focus and that involves some risk-taking at times, but we are learning as a team. There will be moments like this on the way, but we have to face up to them.”
Pochettino hailed the impact of his second half substitutes with England international striker Lambert rifling home within 66 seconds of his arrival before teenage prospect Gallagher opened his league account for the south coast club. Gallagher is the latest hot property to roll off the Saints’ production line, but the youngster has had to overcome the loss of his dad, who died earlier this year following a short illness.
“Obviously we are very happy for Sam,” said Pochettino. “We all know what Sam has been going through. He has been going through a really tough time. It doesn’t change his situation, but it will go a long way to making him happy and his surroundings and his family - everyone around him that wishes the best for him.
“He fully deserves his moment and we really hope he enjoys this moment. I hope everyone enjoys that he scored. He is a very young player that has massive potential.”