Mauricio Pochettino addressed the media on Friday morning ahead of Saturday’s welcoming of Everton.
Here are the key points from the briefing:
On team news…
“We have had a last-minute problem with Morgan Schneiderlin. He is definitely going to be out for the game tomorrow. He has a knock on his quadriceps.
“That adds on to the already-known injuries of Kelvin Davis, Maya Yoshida, Gastón Ramírez and of course Jay Rodriguez.
“We may have Harry Reed missing through a cold.”
On Aston Villa…
“In the second half against Aston Villa we had two clear penalties that were not given to us – I think that would have changed the game quite a bit. We were quite unlucky in not getting both refereeing decisions.
“We created very good chances throughout the entire game against Aston Villa. We dominated that game against Aston Villa. We didn’t win that game because we were unlucky on many different factors.”
On Saints’ current points total…
“I’d be a bit more worried if we just had 30 points at the moment. Right now, I’m not worried with the number of points that we’re on at the moment.
“We’re three points away from achieving a historic achievement with the Football Club, achieving the maximum number of points that the Football Club has ever achieved [in the Premier League].
“As a team, I think there are many positives that you can draw out from this team’s performances throughout the entire season. I think overall we’re having a fantastic season. The team is playing very well.
“Overall I feel very positive about how this team is playing with the means that are available to our disposal.”
“Of course we always try to win against any team but especially against a team that has won seven out of their last eight games; a team that is playing great football under Roberto Martínez, someone that I admire for the way he’s playing Everton.
“It’s going to be a great spectacle. We hope we can try and win the game against what is a very good team.”
On Roberto Martínez…
“It’s clear that he’s fully recognised in Spain as a great manager. It’s also clear that he left Spain when he was very young to join Wigan as a player but he’s kept that essence of what Spanish football is. He’s one of the best managers in this league.”
On a comparison between Southampton and Everton…
“It flatters me that my Club, Southampton Football Club, is actually compared to Everton because Everton in the last ten, eleven, twelve years have always been in the top six to top eight.
“At Southampton if you compare that to them, we’ve only had two seasons in the Premier League [since returning]. Everton have a massive squad; that’s not the case with Southampton. I do like the comparison. I do relish it because it means that we’re doing things right.”
On the notion that Saints are lacking deserved credit…
“I think people that are involved in football, in the world of football, definitely give enough merit to what Southampton Football Club have done throughout the entire season. Perhaps in the media that’s not the case as much.
“I definitely applaud and congratulate the players as they’ve had an amazing season overall. Everything that we’ve done this season has been very good. The work we’ve done and the players, everyone involved at the Club have been fantastic.
“Regardless of what happens in these last three games I think, overall, the team’s season has been very good. I want to applaud that.”