Pellegrino: A special game

By SFC Media time Sun 15 Oct Saints v Newcastle
Photo by James Bridle | Mauricio Pellegrino

For Mauricio Pellegrino, Southampton's meeting with Newcastle today will be a special one.

The Premier League clash, at St Mary's, brings the Saints boss up against one of the biggest influences on his career – Magpies manager Rafa Benítez.

Pellegrino played for Benítez at both Valencia and Liverpool, before going on to work as a coach with him at the Reds and then Internazionale.

"It's a special game to play against him, because he was a person who helped me a lot, first of all as a player," said Pellegrino.

"I am really grateful for my experience with him, not just as a manager, but also a person, because he was really kind, a really good professional and he helped me a lot."

Pellegrino is also looking forward to another capacity crowd at St Mary's, with all five of the team's opening home Premier League fixtures having sold out.

"I have to be really grateful to our fans," he said. "If we think about the last game at home against Man U at the end when the referee finished the game, the crowd with us was really grateful and supporting the team.

"We felt this and we want to feel the same in the next game, but hopefully with the three points at home, because we need it."

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