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North East miracle worker on Saints’ radar to replace Pochettino

| 28.05.2014

Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment as new Tottenham boss leaves his former club, Southampton, looking for a fresh manager just weeks after securing their highest top-flight finish for 12 seasons.

Ronald Koeman is the 5/2 favourite for the post, according to Ladbrokes’ betting market, but there is another name being strongly linked to the vacancy.

Gus Poyet hasn’t completed a full season in charge of current club Sunderland yet, but the miracle he worked in getting the Black Cats to Premier League safety has seen his stock rise in boardrooms of other clubs.

The former Brighton man is 8/1 to take over from the departed Pochettino, a price which makes him joint-fifth favourite for the post alongside Neil Lennon, David Moyes and Eddie Howe.

It’s the wonders Poyet worked since taking over the relegation-bound Black Cats that have surely impressed the Southampton higher-ups.

Poyet lost just three of the final 10 games of the campaign to secure survival despite taking over with the club earning just one point from the opening seven matches.

A run to the Capital One Cup final, where they eventually lost to Manchester City despite taking a shock lead, also looks favourable on Poyet’s CV, while his previous tenure with Brighton would have been remembered positively if it wasn’t for his acrimonious departure.

That frosty Seagulls departure hints at a feisty streak in the Uruguayan and, even after his good work this season, he was uncertain over his Sunderland future following comments about the club’s hierarchy.

He also put his admiration for Southampton’s progress since returning to the top-flight on record last season, which could work in his favour as the St Mary’s club seek a new employee.

Despite that, Sunderland are unlikely to want to let the manager who extended their top-flight status for another season move to a divisional rival and Poyet’s popularity with the fans could well be another road block for the south-coast suitors.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.