Mauricio Pochettino has urged his players to maintain their standards in the twelve remaining league games.
Southampton have tasted one defeat in Pochettino’s opening four matches in charge, and were also 3-1 winners over reigning Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City in their last fixture.
That game was played a fortnight ago, and since then the Argentine has put his ideas into practice on the training ground with a clear message that a drop off in standards won’t be accepted between now and the end of the season.
“We have the same expectations and ambitions,” he told Saints Player ahead of Sunday’s trip to Tyneside. “For example we want to go to Newcastle and get the three points.
“We know that whatever has happened in football in the past doesn’t count for anything in the future, so we will keep moving forwards.”
Having had a second weekend spare between matches since his arrival at the club, Pochettino feels he and his coaching staff have now developed a close relationship with the players, which will enable the squad to push on.
“It has grown in a very natural way, not just with the players but all of the technical staff, and we have become one big family,” he explained.
“It always helps because we are a new technical staff with a new group here. During those breaks it is important that the players get to know us and we get to know them.”
Saints head up to the North East in 15th - one place above Newcastle United – and Pochettino knows what type of game to expect from the Geordies.
“We are going to encounter a very attack minded team who get forward quickly,” he said.
“But we go with the same set up that we have been playing with and the intention of getting the three points.
“They are a dynamic team who get forward quickly, especially with their latest signings, they have grown with their speed in how rapidly they can attack.”
Pochettino also confirmed that he has an almost full strength squad at his disposal, but has some hard decisions to make with his selection, given how well the team performed against Manchester City.
“Yes we nearly have everyone ready and match fit, so everyone is nearly ready to play, but not everyone can at the same time and not everyone will travel to Newcastle,” the gaffer said.
“There is a reality for both teams that we are both sort of close to the relegation zone,” he added. “Our main goal is to try and get the maximum number of points and get as high in the table as possible.”