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Poch: we can cope with injuries
Mauricio Pochettino insists his squad is deep enough to cope with a run of injuries over the busy festive period.
Goalkeeper Artur Boruc has joined Guly do Prado on the long-term absentee list at St Mary’s, but those two are not the only players struggling right now.
Saints will also be without previously ever present Morgan Schneiderlin for tonight’s visit of Aston Villa.
A groin problem led to the midfielder being substituted during Sunday’s defeat at Chelsea, and it is an issue that will keep him out of this evening’s match at St Mary’s.
The Saints boss is calm about the situation, though.
“Aside from Guly and Artur, which are long-term injuries that may take a bit longer, the rest of the players have small problems that should render them fit for not this game, but the next one,” said Pochettino.
“Then, by next week, we will have 90, 95 per cent of the squad fully fit.”
The manager added: “We have 22 players and, as I’ve always said, all of these 22 players can become important for the team, in case there’s injuries, like we’re experiencing at the moment.
“Overall, we have the full confidence of our entire squad.
“It’s important to have a very good depth of squad, to have all the players as fit as possible to be able to take part in a very tough two months, where there is many games ahead.
“There is more problems happening, more injuries happening, so it’s very important to have them all fit so they can actually participate in our games ahead.”
Pochettino has indicated, however, that he does not see Cork, who is yet to start a Premier League game this season after being a key member last season, as a natural replacement for the Frenchman.
“The first thing is that Jack is a completely different player to Morgan,” he said. “Their characteristics of playing are completely different.
“The second thing to say is that Jack has recovered satisfactorily from an injury in his ankle – he’s been training the last few weeks – and hopefully he’ll be fully fit for the game tomorrow.”
Pochettino, who said he expects to include some youngsters among the substitutes tonight, added: “All players are hungry to get their chance to play. “They all want to participate.”
Teenagers Sam Gallagher and Harrison Reed were recently unused subs for the 2-0 Premier League loss at Stamford Bridge.
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