Pellegrino not afraid of change

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has gone on the attack in a bid to prove his side are not too defensive.

Pellegrino’s management has been under scrutiny for much of the season with a perceived lack of risk-taking and cautious style leaving many Saints fans frustrated.

A goalless draw at home to Stoke last weekend merely heightened those concerns but ahead of Saturday’s trip to another struggling side, Newcastle, Pellegrino has defended his tactics and insisted he is not afraid to shake things up.

“In football it is really difficult to agree with everybody,” he said.

“I don’t make decisions for the comments. I make decisions thinking about what I believe, what I see every single game ,and I have the information on my players every single day and I see them.

“The staff’s job sometimes is about intuition and sometimes it depends on them because I don’t see any single club in the world that the best player is on the bench.

“The player on the pitch has to defend how they are every single weekend . If they play well they will continue, if they don’t play well they maybe will have another opportunity.

“This season we changed the goalkeeper, we changed the centre-back, we changed the striker, we changed the second striker, we changed the wingers, we changed different systems.

“The only players we didn’t change are Cedric (Soares), Oriol (Romeu) and Ryan (Bertrand), but most of them have had the opportunity.

“The stats say we are the third team in the Premier League that arrive more in the final third, so do you think we are a team that don’t attack, or that I told my players don’t go forward?

“This is data. It is not my comments, it is reality.

“I accept the comments because we are in one job that is amazing, but when you don’t win nobody is happy. The first one who is not happy is the manager.”

Pellegrino is considering starting Manolo Gabbiadini and club-record signing Guido Carrillo together in attack for the first time in Saturday’s crunch relegation clash at St James’ Park.

Skipper Steven Davis will miss out again with a hamstring injury.

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