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Fox on standby as Shaw battles injury
9:12am Friday 1st March 2013 in Hampshire Sport
Luke Shaw is a doubt for Saints ahead of tomorrow’s game against QPR.
The teenage left back was forced off during last weekend’s defeat at Newcastle with a knock and was replaced by the unfortunate Danny Fox, who gave away a penalty and clattered the ball against Jos Hooiveld for an own goal.
Fox is on standby to come into the team from the start against QPR and put that behind him.
Mauricio Pochettino also has to think about whether to shuffle things around with his forward players, having left Jason Puncheon and Gaston Ramirez on the bench for the game against the Magpies.
Jose Fonte is also pushing for a recall at the heart of defence.
Pochettino is well aware of the importance of the QPR game and the chance it gives his side to pull further away from danger.
His opposite number, Harry Redknapp, believes that 37 points will keep a side in the Premier League season.
If Saints were to defeat QPR they would have to amass just seven points from their remaining ten games to hit that figure.
Pochettino though is more cautious.
“We haven’t set ourselves a certain amount of points,” he said through his translator.
“We have just set out to win every single match and then at the end of the season we will look at how close we came to achieving the ambitions we have.”
Pochettino has clearly heard plenty about the open sore with Saints fans that is the Redknapp era but is urging the fans to keep behind his side as well this weekend.
“I do know the past of Southampton, but I do not know every single detail of what happened,” the Argentinian said.
“I am always interested in football matters so I have become interested in this matter as well.
“But I think my main goal is always to generate a positive atmosphere for my team and always respect what the people say.
“I will thoroughly respect whatever they want to say on Saturday, but I think what is truly important is that they get behind the team and push us to try and get the three points as best as we can.”
It is now six weeks since Pochettino replaced fans’ favourite Nigel Adkins at the Saints helm.
The former Espanyol boss is getting into the swing of things and is impressed by the level of support he receives.
“It is very different to being in Barcelona,” he said. “Joking aside, we (the coaching staff) are very happy to be here.
“We have found ourselves in a very tranquil city, a very calm place during the week.
“We spend from 7am to 8pm at the training ground so we don’t get to see much of the city, but it is true that we experience football in a much more intense way here.
“We are very aware of the passion of the English fans and of those in the Premier League.
“I think every game we have played at St Mary’s we have felt that warmth and kindness from the fans.
“So far so good, we have just experienced good things so far.”