Mauricio Pochettino says Saints travel up to Stoke fully focused on maintaining the standards they’ve set so far this season.
Last weekend’s victory over Fulham projected Saints onto their best ever start to a top-flight campaign, whilst the current unbeaten run of six matches means Southampton are one of the form teams in the division, but Pochettino says that’s not his biggest concern.
“It makes me happy for the fans and for the players as well,” he told Saints Player.
“It’s always nice to get some recognition from the media, it makes me happy for the Chairman as well as it’s all part of this club, but at the same time, my focus is on the staff and trying to improve on every single game and I’m 100 per-cent focused on doing the best for this team and this club.”
Saints travel to Stoke seeking a third match undefeated on the road, and the manager has challenged the team to aim for that target.
“We always aim to maintain the same focus in training and training with the same intensity, so we just want to keep on training hard,” he stressed.
“It’s clear that when you win you get a good atmosphere within the team and the club which is a very good thing, but we need to stay grounded and keep on training hard and looking ahead to the next game.
“We expect a very tough and physical game,” Pochettino said of Stoke. “It’s going to be very difficult and tough.
“On average they have the tallest team in the league, so I think they still have some aspects from when Tony Pulis was manager, but there some new aspects that Mark Hughes has introduced to the team and I think that it’s a team which over 90 minutes is able to do two different styles. They can go for the long ball but also the short one so, overall, we expect a very tough encounter.”
Saints have in fact only tasted one defeat away from home this term, a narrow 1-0 defeat at Norwich. Pochettino does not however look back on that game with any regret.
“It’s something that I have to accept is going to happen in football,” he explained. “It’s part of the game, you can either win or you can lose. I don’t think that we deserved to lose that game by the way.
“It sometimes happens that you don’t deserve to win a game, but in general the Premier League is ten months in duration and we just have to accept that these things are going to happen because it’s just part of football.”
Steven Davis and Dani Osvaldo were absent from the win over Fulham, and the manager revealed that the duo will be assessed, but also conceded that he is likely to be without Guly do Prado on Saturday.
“Guly has a small problem in one of his knees and he has to be evaluated by the medical staff still.
“Osvaldo and Steven Davis are better from last week, but again, they need to be evaluated today and tomorrow and we still need to see if they will be able to travel with us on Saturday.”