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Poch hails Osvaldo's growing maturity
England assistant manager Ray Lewington was watching from the stands at St Mary’s.
He was no doubt alarmed by the quality he saw from the man who could lead the line for Italy against England in next summer’s World Cup after the nations were paired together in the group stages.
However, of far more importance to Saints fans is that Osvaldo is starting to settle with two goals in two games proof of his growing influence on the team.
That was after he had scored just once in his first 10 Premier League outings for Saints following a club record £15m arrival.
Pochettino said: “He’s a player that’s growing.
“He did very well.
“It’s not easy to adapt to this league, especially for a player that’s coming from abroad.
“He needs time to adapt, he needs patience and he showed that adaptation process is paying off.”
He added: “It was a great goal, an amazing goal.”
The goal was a timely reminder to England of the danger they will face in Brazil from what Pochettino agreed was, in some ways, ‘the enemy within.’ “He’s a very important player for the Italian national side and it’s actually very good for England that he is playing here, that he can be analysed and watched over and over again so you guys are aware of his danger,” said the Saints boss.
Osvaldo has the reputation of being a fiery character – he was sent off four times in 2012 playing for Roma and Italy.
Pochettino had to step in to haul him away from a melee against Aston Villa last Wednesday.
But the Saints boss said he loves players with character and that Osvaldo is not as bad as is painted out – even if his reputation IS deserved.
“It’s also true that he was provoked,” he said of the Villa incident.
“He was hit from behind, a very bad hit from behind, a very traitor-like hit from behind.
“It’s true he was provoked but nonetheless he does have a fiery character and we need to be aware of that.”
He continued: “It’s true – and his reputation, he has actually earned it.
“He has a full character, full of passion, he has a big heart and is full of fire inside and he needs that to perform as he does.
“He’s a player also that is growing.
“He’s learning, he’s maturing as a player and we’re very happy with his performance and overall with his general behaviour.”
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