Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino looks set to stay on as Saints manager following the departure of chairman Nicola Cortese on Wednesday, according to BBC
Pochettino stated last year that he would leave the club should Cortese walk through the exit door, but that stance appears to have changed as the Argentinian confirmed on Thursday that he intends to remain in the role.
Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, Pochettino said: “I am staying as manager. I have a professional responsibility to everyone at the club and the fans.”
Pochettino was appointed at St. Mary’s almost a year ago by Italian Cortese following the sacking of Nigel Adkins, but did reveal that he stays with the club with the backing of the former chairman.
“It’s been a great shock for all of us, it all happened so quickly,” he continued.
“It’s a sad situation. We all had a special relationship with him.
“I spoke with Nicola. I told him I have a responsibility to the club and informed him of my decision to stay and he agreed.
“My terms and role will not change and my commitment will not change.”
Pochettino also said that when he made the original comments about leaving if Cortese did so, cirumstances were different – stating that it would make no sense leaving “in the middle of our project”, and adding that the players must concentrate on their on-the-field affairs rather than the goings on in the corridors of St. Mary’s.
His side next face Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon, and Pochettino is all too aware of the potential banana skin waiting on Wearside – but wants a performance for Cortese.
He said: “He [Cortese] asked me to do one thing and that was win on Saturday.
“When he offered my contract he said one thing: ‘Be 100% professional always, regardless of the situation’. That makes him a stand-out guy.”
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