Saints boss Pochettino ranks Norwich City Premier League test as one of his toughest

Mauricio Pochettino ranked Southampton's 0-0 Premier League draw at Norwich City last season as one

Mauricio Pochettino ranked Southampton's 0-0 Premier League draw at Norwich City last season as one of the toughest assignments of his early reign. Picture: David Davies/PA - Credit: PA

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino knows from first hand experience just how tough a task his squad face at Norwich this weekend.

The Argentine boss ranked Chris Hughton's side as one of his toughest opponents last season following a goalless league draw at Carrow Road. Southampton travel in buoyant mood after an unbeaten start to their second campaign back in the Premier League following an opening-day 1-0 win at West Brom and 1-1 draw with Sunderland.

'It's going to be a complicated game away in their stadium,' he said. 'They have reinforced their squad very well, so we're expecting a very tough game against them. They're physically a very strong side and a very quick side. They go on the counter-attack very quickly as well, which is one of their main strengths.

'They're very well-organised, and they know exactly what they need to do in every single moment of the game, so overall they're a very tough side playing against them away from home. Winning always makes us happy and content, so our goal is basically to play as well as we can to try to get a victory.'

Saints may head to Norfolk without Jos Hooiveld and Guly do Prado, with both missed the midweek Capital One Cup win at Barnsley through illness.

'There are a couple of players like Guly and Jos who weren't able to play at Barnsley, and maybe a couple of others who we can't mention,' Pochettino said. 'Hopefully we'll be able to know from Friday which players can come with us.'

Southampton have been one of the biggest spenders in the current transfer market after splashing out more than £30m for the likes of Dejan Lovren, Victor Wanyama and club-record signing Dani Osvaldo.

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Pochettino yesterday downplayed a reported move for Porto's Abdoulaye Ba and has no immediate plans to bring in new faces, but the Argentine is willing to consider offloading the likes of Billy Sharp, Dean Hammond and Tadanari Lee.

'It's clear that all footballers want to play and they need to develop their own skills from playing,' Pochettino added. I'm very hopeful that they will be able to find that place because all footballers want to develop their own skills. I'm very happy with what we've got here, and hopefully we'll have a very good season this year.'