Double injury blow for Saints

  • Last Updated: January 22 2014, 14:07 GMT

Southampton's Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez have suffered ankle ligament injuries and are facing several weeks on the sidelines.

Gaston Ramirez is hurt by Wes Brown's tackle
Gaston Ramirez is hurt by Wes Brown's tackle

The club have confirmed the extent of the damage sustained during Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, but have refused to comment on the expected recovery time for either player.

The news comes as another blow to manager Mauricio Pochettino, whose executive chairman at Saints, Nicola Cortese, quit the club last week.

Midfielder Ramirez was injured by a nasty-looking Wes Brown challenge at the weekend, only moments before centre back Lovren hurt himself when he tangled with Craig Gardner.

A club statement said: "Saints can confirm that Lovren and Ramírez both suffered ankle ligament injuries. The players are still being assessed, so we are reluctant to place a timescale on when the duo will be able to return to action."

Southampton sit ninth in the Premier League table but their impressive early-season form has tailed off and the club have become engulfed by a sense of panic since Cortese's resignation.

The disruption has been acknowledged by the club's owner, Katharina Liebherr, who issued an open letter to supporters this week.

In it, she admitted she was seeking a period of "stability and calm", writing: "Off the pitch, my priority is to establish the proper running of the club at the top.

"I have met Pochettino and given him my complete support to build on the good work that has already been achieved.

"We have also said that we have no plans to sell any of the squad during the January transfer window. I met the rest of the staff and gave them the same message of support."

Cortese's departure has prompted speculation about Pochettino's future. Former Blackburn chairman John Williams is favourite to succeed Cortese and may have to persuade the manager to stay in the summer.

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