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Friday 18 January 2013

Mauricio Pochettino lured by 'passion for Premier League'

Former Espanyol coach expresses love for Premier League football upon joining Saints

  • Mauricio Pochettino was all smiles as he took over as manager of Southampton

  • After a tough start to the Barclays Premier League, Nigel Adkins had seen form improve

Southampton’s new manager Mauricio Pochettino said the appeal of the Barclays Premier League was the major factor that convinced him to take over as Southampton manager.

"I am very passionate about the Premier League – it is a very attractive league"
Mauricio Pochettino

The former Argentina defender, speaking for the first time after replacing Nigel Adkins as manager of the South Coast club on Friday, said he was honoured to have been chosen to take charge of a new project in a league he holds in great esteem.

To watch Pochettino's press conference, click here

“I am great admirer of English football and I am very happy to be here,” said the 40-year-old former Espanyol coach. “I am very passionate about the Premier League – it is a very attractive league.”

Pochettino, who took over as coach at Espanyol in January 2009 and steered the Barcelona club away from relegation, added that he had spoken at great length with Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, the former Chelsea manager, who gave him further insight into the Barclays Premier League.

“I’ve spoken at length with people who have been a part of this league like Jose Mourinho, who is a great friend of mine," he said. "He told me that the best football in the world is being played here because of how the league is structured and because there is a lot of respect towards the clubs – and that has fully convinced me to come here.

"Aside from the project Southampton have discussed with me that is the main reason I am here.”

To view Pochettino's press conference, click here.

Pochettino's first match in charge takes place at home against Everton on Monday evening.

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Key Points

  • Southampton present Mauricio Pochettino as new manager of Southampton
  • Former Espanyol coach said his "passion for the Premier League" lured him to south coast
  • 40-year-old said Jose Mourinho convinced him to join the league where they play "the best football in the world"