Mauricio Pochettino to decide on Southampton futureby Jack Kitson / 16 January 2014, 09:54Tweet
Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is set to reveal whether he is staying or going in a club press conference scheduled for Thursday afternoon. Rumours are rife that Pochettino will follow Nicola Cortese out of the club, with the Argentinean currently the bookmakers' favourite in the Premier League Sack Race, having seen his odds slashed from 100/1 down to just evens (Bet Victor).
Former executive chairman Cortese stunned the club on Wednesday by resigning from his post. The timing couldn't be much worse for Saints supporters who will now not only be sweating on the future of their manager but their star players, with two weeks still remaining in the January transfer market. The unexpected turmoil also mean fans will now fear a return to the dark days, which saw the club suffer relegation from the Premier League (and subsequently administration in 2009) down to League One.
Prior to Wednesday’s crushing news there was a real sense of optimism on the south coast. The Saints, 9th, had enjoyed a cracking start to the season, with supporters treated to an attractive high-tempo pressing game under the popular Pochettino, who has won numerous plaudits for both his style of play and for nuturing a number of promising academy players.
Earlier in the campaign the Saints had the second best defensive record in Europe, while they remain the only team to beat Liverpool at Anfield. The Hampshire side experienced a blip over the Christmas period but appear to be back on track following consecutive wins over Burnley (FA Cup) and West Brom (league).
If Pochettino does break Saints hearts and decides to leave then the club will reluctantly start the search for their eighth permanent manager since their relegation from the top-flight in 2005. The Next Southampton Manager Odds show that former Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay is the 6/1 favourite with Stan James, while Paul Clement, Murat Yakin and Andre Villas-Boas also feature.