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Poch's regret after touchline brawl
6:00am Monday 16th December 2013 in Sport
Mauricio Pochettino has vowed there will be no repeat of the ugly dugout brawl that marred Saints’ 1-1 draw with Newcastle.
After Morgan Schneiderlin was shown a yellow card for a full blooded challenge in injury time, a melee broke out involving the respective coaching staff with stewards having to intervene to restore calm.
Pochettino and Saints boss Alan Pardew both had their backs to the incident as it sparked off and tried to stop things spiralling further out of hand.
Saints goalkeeping coach Toni Jimenez was sent to the stands for his part in it by referee Mike Jones, along with his Newcastle counterpart Andy Woodman. It is likely that the FA will wait for the referee’s report before deciding whether to charge the clubs or individuals involved.
If they do then it is possible that a fine and even touchline bans could be handed down to those involved.
Pochettino was pulling no punches in his impressive post-match press conference.
“What happened at the end of the game is not a good example. It’s not good for football,” he insisted.
“From our point of view, we are going to try our best not to let it happen again because it’s not good for anyone, not good for the sport.
“It is avoidable but also in a high intensity game such as that any little spark can lead to something else and that’s what happened.
“Overall from our point of view it’s something we regret and we don’t want ever to happen again.”
In the event that the FA do choose to investigate the matter but Pochettino called for his club’s excellent record to be taken into account before any hasty decisions are reached.
“Let’s stay calm. We need to be calm about what happened today,” he explained.
“These things can happen and we need to keep it indoors, not make it publicised and not make a big thing out of it.
“If there’s a committee that is going to make a decision about that, then they will make their decision and we will see from there on.
“Overall I do have to say there are a lot of other technical staff and benches that create a lot more of these situations.
“This is the first time it has happened to Southampton so that needs to be taken into account as well.”
It was somewhat forgotten that it was Schneiderlin’s tackle which led to all this, with Newcastle incensed he wasn’t sent off.
However, Pochettino stuck up for the Frenchman, playing again after injury.
“This is football and these things can happen – and this is English football so it’s only normal that these things can happen,” he said.
“Perhaps in other leagues that tackle would be a bit different but I see it as something almost normal in this league.
“It’s a very aggressive game, it’s a very confrontational game, there’s a lot of energy, there’s a lot of intensity.
“These things can happen and it’s only normal that it can happen here.”
Speaking about what happened in the dugouts he added: “I did not see it. I was too busy watching what was happening on the pitch.
“As soon as I turned around, I saw everyone was already involved so I don’t see who started it or how it started.”
Pardew laughed off the touchline melee.
“It wasn’t a brawl and it wasn’t spoilt by that – it was kind of a bit panto season,” he said.
“It shouldn’t take the headlines.
“The battle was on the pitch and that was a terrific battle.
“The battle on the sidelines was pretty pathetic from what I saw of it and best forgotten.
“I had my back to it most of the time but I said to their manager ‘you get your staff and I’ll get my staff and let’s get on with it.’ “We want to win the game and he was of the same opinion as me.”
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