• Premier League

Pochettino: Friendly image costing us decisions

ESPN staff
December 30, 2013
Mauricio Pochettino thought his side should have been awarded two penalties at Everton © Getty Images

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes officials have treated his side unfairly this season due to their young, friendly image.

Much has been made of Southampton's attractive, free-flowing style and their focus on nurturing homegrown talent, with eight of their starting XI in Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Everton eligible for England. Three of those players are teenagers from the club's famed academy - an admirable philosophy but one manager Pochettino feels is costing his side.

Pochettino was irked by referee Mark Clattenburg's failure to award his side two penalties at Goodison Park and believes those decisions are just the tip of the iceberg.

"I was angry about some of the refereeing decisions," Pochettino said. "There was not one, but actually two clear penalties not given to us.

"We have been suffering all season long. Many injustices have gone against us. It is easier to referee a Southampton side that are all young, friendly players. It is very easy to have decisions not go for us. It is a lot easier to have decisions to go against us.

"We just want Southampton to be refereed with the same rigour as all other clubs are judged. We want the same treatment as all other clubs. Nothing better, nothing worse - just the same.

"We don't want to be judged by the young, handsome players that we have. We don't want to be judged in that sense. We want to be judged in the same manner, being judged by the same rigour, in the same way that all other clubs are. We just want it to be fair, basically."

Pochettino was quick to reject the notion that his players need to show a nastier streak and laughed off the old "nice guys never win" saying.

"I said that we seem to be good people, not that we are," he said. "We can be a**holes as well."

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