Pearson shows respect to Blues

Nigel Pearson is determined to get off to a winning start in front of an expectant Southampton crowd.The former Newcastle United coach replaced George Burley as Saints boss last week and this will be his first game in charge at St Mary's.

Derek Davis

Nigel Pearson is determined to get off to a winning start in front of an expectant Southampton crowd.

The former Newcastle United coach replaced George Burley as Saints boss last week and this will be his first game in charge at St Mary's.

Pearson was caretaker-manger of West Brom when they beat Ipswich 5-1 at Portman Road knowing Tony Mowbray was about to take charge but he feels Jim Magilton's side has come on a lot since then.


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Pearson said: “Ipswich had a very good year and I have a lot of respect for what they've achieved. They had a difficult year last season but have come on a lot.

“Once we're safe, we're going to have to look to do the same next year but knowing Jim and his connections he'll want to come here and put on a good show.

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“We have to deal with whatever they throw at us and impose ourselves on them but I want my players to go out there and beat them.”

Southampton sit sixth bottom and looking over their shoulders with just four separating them from the relegation zone and Pearson insists that action will speak louder than words to a crowd that has become disillusioned with events off and on the pitch.

He said: “This is a results-driven business so it's about doing it on the pitch not positive spiel, but the players are keen to turn the corner and finish the season on a positive note. That starts against Ipswich.

“We've got to play with passion and desire but we've also got to play smart and stick to the game plan to get all three points.

“There will be days when it doesn't happen but I'm making sure we set high standards for the players.

“I'm determined to do the job right and be successful.

“It will get tight so it's a case of keeping a calm head and concentrating on what we do.

“Ultimately it's what we do that determines whether we're successful. We have to be very strong over the next few weeks to make sure we pull ourselves out of this situation.

“It won't be easy because it's a tough league but we're thinking positively about things.”

Pearson's appointment, coupled with a drive to recreate the Dell-Spirit, has had a positive effect on ticket sales and the new manager feels the that has trickled through to the players after an upbeat training week.

He said: “I'm pleased with how things have gone this week but it's about performing on match day and building on last week.

“I was pleased with the mentality of the players at Scunthorpe for continuing to press for the whole 90 minutes.

“The performance was workmanlike and gritty, and we're going to have to stay in games even when they're tough, but let's not get carried away with it.

“It's tightened up with how results have gone elsewhere and the games coming up are going to be tough but I'm getting very positive vibes from the players and we've had good preparation.

“That counts for nothing if we don't perform.

“The players are clear what is expected is results. If we don't perform on match day then the preparation counts for nothing.”

Former Town keeper Kelvin Davis saved a penalty last week, while Jermaine Wright, who has been slaughtered by fans for his displays at left back, has been reverted to a midfield role.

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