Swansea City 0 - 0 Southampton

Match info: Premier League at The Liberty Stadium

Date: 20/04/2013 KO: 15:00 Ref: M Halsey Att: 20,561

Home team/scorers Scores Away team/scorers

Swansea

0
vs
0

So'ton


FT (ht: 0-0)

  • Last Updated: April 19 2013, 14:43 BST

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes a top-10 finish is within the promoted club's grasp.

Many had written off Saints on their return to the top flight and one win in their opening 11 matches did nothing to quieten the naysayers.

However, Southampton soon picked up under Nigel Adkins and have kicked on again under his successor, Pochettino.

Saints are in the midst of a five-match unbeaten run and head into Saturday's trip to Swansea all but certain of avoiding an immediate return to the npower Championship.

Swans boss Michael Laudrup has highlighted this weekend's Liberty Stadium clash as vital to their aspirations of a top-half finish - something Pochettino believes three points on Saturday could also help his side achieve.

"What I really want to do is win the game on Saturday, which we all do as a team," the Saints manager said.

"I think if we're able to do that then we'll be able to do that (finish in the top 10), but first of all we need to play the game.

"Second of all we need to be better than them and third of all we have to score the goals in order to be able to win the game and get the three points that we really want.

"Our energy cannot be really focused on what might happen. We need to focus on the present, the here and now, what is tangible.

"What is tangible now is getting three points, always training to compete, always training to win and competing to win as well.

"If we do that, we will be all right but again our focus has to be on something that is real rather than something that might happen.

"Also overall, our minds have to be focused in a positive way.

"It is a normal human condition that we think about negative things, that we consider negative thoughts.

"But why not think about the positives - the good things that might happen? We just have got to focus on doing positive things for ourselves and always try to win games and play and compete in a positive manner."

Saturday's match should be a treat for the football purists, with both sides known for their free-flowing passing football.

Laudrup and Pochettino have previously faced off when they managed in Spain - when Laudrup was at Mallorca and Pochettino at Espanyol - and it is a battle the Saints boss is looking forward to once again.

"First of all, I want to congratulate Swansea because they have won silverware this season," Pochettino said.

"Of course, I know Laudrup from playing and managing in Spain so I am aware of his qualities - he is a very good manager and has been progressing Swansea.

"I was reading an interview with him in a Spanish newspaper, where he said that the managers before him in Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez meant Swansea had been playing under the same philosophy for some time now.

"Swansea's brand of football is quite established, and their way of playing is quite similar to what we're trying to do here at Southampton.

"I do think that we play with qualities from the English game, but we add to that with our experience of formations and education as continental managers."

Guly do Prado and Kelvin Davis are doubts for Saturday's match, with the former ill and club captain Davis struggling with a leg complaint.

Luke Shaw, Jason Puncheon and Jay Rodriguez are all fully fit once again after a virus.


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