Southampton: Mauricio Pochettino to stay as manager

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino has confirmed he will remain at the club despite the departure of chairman Nicola Cortese.

Cortese, 45, left Saints on Wednesday, with owner Katharina Liebherr becoming non-executive chairman.

Pochettino said last season he would leave St Mary's if the Italian did.

Cortese Analysis

"In recent weeks, his appearances at the training ground, often before seven in the morning, had grown less frequent. Something had changed, something was wrong."

"I am staying as manager," Pochettino told BBC Radio Solent. "I have a professional responsibility to everyone at the club and the fans."

Pochettino, 41, has been in charge of the Premier League club for just under a year, taking over from the sacked Nigel Adkins on 18 January 2013, having been brought to England by Cortese.

He admitted to being "shocked" by Cortese's departure but added his decision to stay was backed by the former chairman.

"It's been a great shock for all of us, it all happened so quickly," said Pochettino. "It's a sad situation. We all had a special relationship with him.

"I spoke with Nicola. I told him I have a responsibility to the club and informed him of my decision to stay and he agreed.

"My terms and role will not change and my commitment will not change."

Saints march to the top flight

2009-10: 7th (League One)

2010-11: 2nd (League One)

2011-12: 2nd (Championship)

2012-13: 14th (Premier League)

2013-14: 9th* (Premier League)

* Correct on 14 January

Pochettino said the circumstances were now different to when he initially suggested he would leave in the summer if Cortese did, saying it "would make no sense to quit in the middle of our project".

The former Espanyol coach met with Liebherr prior to Saints' routine pre-match news conference to seek assurances about the future direction of the club.

"She transmitted her full trust and support to me and my staff and people working at this club," said Pochettino of that meeting.

The club travel to Sunderland on Saturday and the Argentine says his squad must focus on the challenge awaiting them at the Stadium of Light and not the off-the-field uncertainty.

Pochettino also revealed that Cortese had urged him to ensure their form was not affected by the news.

"He asked me to do one thing and that was win on Saturday," said Pochettino.

"When he offered my contract he said one thing: 'Be 100% professional always, regardless of the situation'. That makes him a stand-out guy."