Last Updated: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 09:07
Southampton executive chairman Nicola Cortese claims his managerial decisions have been proved correct in keeping the club progressing.
The Swiss banker played a key role in reviving the Saints' fortunes when he convinced Markus Liebherr to purchase the cash-strapped outfit in 2009 when they were languishing in the lower reaches of League One.
Despite Liebherr's sad death at the age of 62 in August 2010, Cortese has remained at the club's helm to mastermind the rise up to their current lofty position of fourth spot in the Premier League after seven games of this season.
Cortese has axed managers Alan Pardew and Nigel Adkins during his spell at St Mary's and made the surprise decision to appoint the little known Argentinian Mauricio Pochettino in January.
However the former Espanyol boss guided the club to Premier League safety last term, while they have become the surprise team of the season to date having drafted in several big-money signings, including Victor Wanyama and Dani Osvaldo, during the summer.
And Cortese feels the club's rise has vindicated the decisions he has made since he stepped foot into St Mary's over four years ago.
He said: "We changed managers on the back of good results and people say 'Why do you change now?', especially in Nigel's case as we came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 (against Chelsea) at Stamford Bridge.
"But this is progress, especially when you have someone lined up. The decision has been taken beforehand and maybe a lot of people will say 'Let's wait now', but we thought it was the right time to do it.
"I always planned in advance exactly the day I was going to do it.
"I think, to be honest, looking at those two scenarios, if one day I was in a similar situation again I would do it the same way again."
Cortese added: "We came up with some plans that were not traditional in English football of how we want to structure the club.
"We wanted a more continental approach in terms of the company structure. In terms of the manager, he has an important role but basically is just a department head like others.
"You've got to build a company again. There was absolutely no company culture, no plans, no ambition.
"Just using the word 'ambition' was a problem for some people because we're down here on the south coast."
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