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Poch's old club give Hammers a helping hand
Mauricio Pochettino’s former club have helped West Ham prepare for their match with Saints on Sunday.
The Hammers took the unusual decision to decamp to Spain in the first week of the international break, with only four senior players away with their countries.
That is the kind of luxury not afforded to Pochettino, who saw ten of his first team squad disappear for the majority of the last fortnight.
Whilst in Spain the Hammers played a friendly against Espanyol, the club for whom Pochettino played more than 250 games and later managed for three years.
He might not be that impressed with his former employers if West Ham prove to have got as much out of their 1-0 win as manager Sam Allardyce, left, has claimed.
He said: “James Tomkins, Adrian in goal, Matt Taylor, Ravel Morrison - the match practice side was very important for them.
"From the aspect of tactical, technical and fitness, it was a very good workout. We came through with no injuries and with a victory so it was a worthwhile exercise in the international break.
"For those that played against Stoke, it was good to get that result out of their systems too. To get on the pitch and play a competitive game of football, puts it a little more in the distance, but they do have to remember that they didn't do as well as they should have done against Stoke, and make sure they don't get that low in terms of their performance again.
"Not only was it a good game, but there were about 150 West Ham fans in the corner singing away again, and they turn up wherever we go."
Looking ahead to the Sky televised Saints game at St Mary’s, he added: "I'm looking for us to give the kind of performance we gave at Newcastle and this time be more clinical.
We've gone two games without scoring a goal now, which is something I don't like, even though we've been very good defensively.
"We need to be putting the ball in the back of the net more, so when a chance comes along at Southampton we must take it.
"We must perform to the level we did at Newcastle and take our chances, because if we don't it will be a very tough game, because we've seen the improvement they've made."
West Ham had a massive bonus with only four international call-ups.
Of those only two, Winston Reid and Mohamed Diame, started the last league game against Stoke while Razvan Ray and Jack Collison were on the bench.
The chance to have a tow week break to work with the majority of the squad is a rarity afforded few top flight managers at this stage of the season and winger Matt Jarvis feels it has benefited their preparation for Saints.
"They are a good team and pass the ball well, but we are in confident mood,” he said.
“We were very disappointed in losing to Stoke in our last game, a result I think was a blip for us but something we want to get out of the system "We enjoyed a good point here at St Mary's last season and then beat them at home, so we know what we can do, we will go there to get a result which will see us back on track."
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