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Anxious wait ahead for Poch as 11 stars set to go on international duty
7:00am Friday 30th August 2013 in Sport
Saints are proud to have 11 players called-up for international duty, even if Mauricio Pochettino is set to endure a frustrating fortnight.
Pochettino was looking forward to the two week break in the fixture list after tomorrow’s game at Norwich to get some more time working with his squad.
Saints have made a very positive start to the season but the manager wants further improvement going forward.
However, call-ups for 11 first team stars has scuppered his chances of a really productive two weeks, and ensured he will have an anxious wait that they all return home unscathed.
The 11 going away are Artur Boruc (Poland), Emmanuel Mayuka (Zambia), Dejan Lovren (Croatia), Rickie Lambert (England), Gaston Ramirez (Uruguay), Steven Davis (Northern Ireland), Maya Yoshida (Japan) Luke Shaw, James Ward-Prowse (both England under-21s), Lloyd Isgrove (Wales under-21s) and Calum Chambers (England under-19s).
Pochettino said: “It’s always positive that players from your side are called up for international sides.
“We are happy about it even though we will lose 11 or 12 players during the international break.
“At the same time it is very good for the image of the club and it speaks very highly of the goals for this club with players such as Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw and Rickie Lambert with the England squad.
“It’s a very positive thing for Southampton Football Club.”
The Saints boss is helped in recruiting new signings by the international calls and says he can see a time where a fair few of his men are reporting regularly for England duty.
“I can see that happening in the future,” he reflected.
“If you play for Southampton you can be called up to the national side – Lambert, Lallana, Ward-Prowse, Shaw, Chambers – all those players are showing our academy is a reality and that’s happening already.”
Before the stars head off Pochettino has the small matter of a game at Norwich to prepare for.
The last time the sides met at Carrow Road it was a hard fought goalless draw in snowy March, with Artur Boruc saving a late penalty to earn a point.
“The last time we played against Norwich away they were one of the hardest teams we faced in the Premier League away from home,” admitted Pochettino.
“They are a side who have added some very good signings this summer. They are very well organised and they know exactly what they want to do on the pitch.”
He added: “Norwich have many good players and are very competitive and well organised.
“Aside from the individual players that might set them apart they are collectively a very good team.”
However, the Saints boss hasn’t changed his targets despite the successful start to the campaign.
“The goals that we set out for ourselves is short term, and that is to win our next game and nothing beyond.”
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