Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino says sorry for final whistle anger after draw with Norwich City

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino goes onto the pitch to confront referee Mark Clattenburg at

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino goes onto the pitch to confront referee Mark Clattenburg at the end of the game. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Southampton's Argentine boss Mauricio Pochettino swiftly apologised for confronting referee Mark Clattenburg on the pitch at the final whistle following the contentious stoppage time penalty saved by Saints' keeper Artur Boruc.

Pochettino felt justice was done when Grant Holt's spot kick was clawed out after the officials had spotted an infringement from Luke Shaw on the City captain a yard inside the visitors' penalty area.

'In that moment you do not really control your emotions or your anger. I thought it was a complete unfairness to us. That is my opinion,' said the Saints' chief, speaking through his interpreter. 'What I said to the referee stays on the pitch. I know I should not have gone on the pitch and I apologise but sometimes you lose control a little bit – us managers really have to control ourselves but I am playing the game as well on the sidelines.

'My anger is doubled because, one, we should not have had a penalty given against us and, two, we should have been up in the game. I hope I will not be in trouble and the referee can understand the manager's position on things.

'Even though I don't agree with what happened at the end of the game I have full respect for referees and I apologise for offending anyone. I understand they have a job to do but so do we.'

The former Espanyol boss was adamant television replays only strengthened his case over the late flashpoint at Carrow Road.

'It's not a penalty in my opinion. I didn't think it was when it happened on the pitch and I still don't now I have watched it on the television,' he said. 'The ball was heading out towards the corner and Luke was running after the ball before the opposition (player) clattered into him. It is super clear to me that it is not a penalty. But Artur had a great save and we saved one point. He was phenomenal in that moment.

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'We leave here semi-happy because the penalty decision could have led to us having lost the game. The weather conditions were not ideal for our style of football but the team fought really hard. That is why I think my team adapted to the conditions and the pitch very well. Norwich is a very hard team to play against on their own ground.'

Pochettino conceded Southampton created enough clear-cut opportunities at Carrow Road to have taken a major step towards Premier League survival.

'We were not effective in the chances we created for ourselves but my team played very well and we didn't deserve at all to lose this game,' he said.

'It has been hard for us to actually get goals and on a difficult ground such as Norwich's I think my team did well. In football, there is an old saying that if you can't win then you shouldn't lose and that is what happened here.

'I am happy overall with my team's performance because we regained some of the team's fighting spirit that we perhaps lost against QPR. I think my team played well – better than last week.'

The 41-year-old has won one of his seven matches in charge at St Mary's since replacing Nigel Adkins and the Saints face a testing double header on the horizon next against Liverpool and Chelsea.

'We will try to get as many points from our games as possible between now and the end of the season. We just have to win games, that is the reality in the table and we have to keep on working,' he said.

'What is really important for us is that we keep on creating our chances because we have skilful strikers.'

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