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Pochettino replaces Adkins at Southampton

Friday 18 January 2013 18.02 CET
Mauricio Pochettino left Espanyol in November

English Premier League side Southampton FC have replaced manager Nigel Adkins with former RCD Espanyol coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino, 40, takes over a club 15th in the table, three points clear of the relegation zone, with his first match coming against Everton FC on Monday. Adkins had been in charge since 2010, leading Southampton to successive promotions in the last two seasons.

The south-coast side's executive chairman Nicola Cortese said: "This decision has been made with the long-term ambitions of Southampton in mind. Whilst we acknowledge the contribution Nigel has made during the past two years, for the club to progress and achieve our long-term targets a change was needed.

"Mauricio is a well-respected coach of substantial quality who has gained a reputation as an astute tactician and excellent man manager. I have every confidence he will inspire our talented squad of players to perform at the highest possible level."

Former Argentina defender Pochettino, who left Liga strugglers Espanyol in November after nearly four years at the helm, added: "This is the kind of opportunity any coach would relish. Southampton is a club with great heritage and an even more exciting future. There is a clear vision to take the club to a new era of sustained success in the Premier League, and beyond, which I'm delighted to be part of."

The Saints have also announced the first signing of Pochettino's reign, bringing in Norwegian international defender Vegard Forren from Molde FK. The 24-year-old, capped five times, has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at St Mary's and moves from the Tippeligaen champions for an undisclosed fee.

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