Pochettino: Let's End On A High

By SFC Media time Thu 16 May Club

Mauricio Pochettino says he's determined that his side end the campaign on a high note, despite their Premier League status already being secure for next season.

Wigan's defeat to Arsenal in midweek means that all three relegation places have been settled ahead of the final day of the 2012-13 schedule.

However, if Saints see off Stoke City on Sunday and results elsewhere go in their favour, Pochettino's side could finish the season as high as tenth.

"I'm very happy [to be mathematically safe] but, at the same time, we always knew that the team had the right conditions and capabilities to stay in the Premier League and play in it next season," the manager told the press this morning. 

"We are aware that we still have our last game of the season against Stoke, which we need to win to be able to finish as high as possible in the table. 

"Doing that would give our supporters a nice parting gift because it would make them happy at the end of the season if we can get a win in our last game.

"I want to highlight the job Tony Pulis has done at Stoke," added Mauricio. 

"They have a different philosophy from the way Southampton plays, but they full believe in the way that they play. 

"They've carried that through the season with great rigour, and it's not easy to perform in that manner in the Premier League so I want to congratulate them on a job well done."

In terms of team news, Pochettino revealed that Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Steve De Ridder and Vegard Forren have missed training this week.

With Danny Fox and Gastón Ramírez suspended, the manager admitted he might have to draft in members of the club's Under-21 side for Sunday's match – but added that he hopes the likes of Lambert and Shaw will be fit.

"Luke has a virus, while Rickie has had a knock to his back for the last month," said Mauricio, "but hopefully they will recover for the game on Sunday. 

"Perhaps today we will have more under-21 players than senior players training because of those missing! Maybe we'll give a few of the youngsters a chance to be in the squad on Sunday.

"As I do in all games, I will line up the players that I think are best capable of facing the opposition."