Mauricio Pochettino believes his players will thrive on the occasion of playing at Manchester United on Wednesday night.
Southampton are back in action this week at the start of a double header of Barclays Premier League fixtures in the North West, with Saturday’s trip to Wigan Athletic following on from a midweek meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.
“Going to Old Trafford represents an extra motivation for us and for the players,” Pochettino told Saints Player.
“Any player enjoys playing in these mythical stadiums around the world, so it’s also an opportunity for us to develop our game and the way that we play. We’re very excited and keen to develop our game by playing there.”
The Argentine Manager insists though, that the team will have no fear in pushing the Red Devils as they did in the reverse fixture at St Mary’s back in September, when they were narrowly beaten 3-2.
“Our mentality always has to be to win,” he explained. “We want to win and we want the squad to feel that mentality of winning.
“We definitely respect Manchester United and what they’re doing in the league right now, they’re an amazing team, but we’re going with a mentality to win and we’ll see how the game proceeds.”
The squad has returned in good spirits from an intensive warmer weather training camp over in Barcelona, and Pochettino highlighted the benefits of the time away, as well as providing an update on the fitness of some players.
“It was a very good week of work and a good atmosphere,” he said. “We’ve got to know the players very well and the players have got to know us well too, not just my staff, the technical staff involved with the club too, so overall it was a very positive experience.
“Adam Lallana is doing well. He’s definitely recovering well, but he needs rhythm to get back into competition. José Fonte is a no for Wednesday and he’ll need some more time to recover. We also have an injury to Guly who has had a knock to his knee. He will also need some weeks to recover and we’re not sure when he’ll be back.”
However, Pochettino says the sidelined players won’t affect his strategy during the closing stages of the transfer window, with the deadline rapidly approaching on Thursday of this week.
“We haven’t made any requests for any new players, but we’re watching the market to see if there are any developments,” he stated.
“Overall we’re very happy with the squad and we have players here capable of competing at this level in the Premier League.
“We’ve very happy, and if we make a signing it won’t be for the sake of a signing it will be to improve what we have already. We don’t think that we need new players unless we think they will improve us.”