SAINTS great Rickie Lambert has described Mauricio Pochettino as the “best” manager he has worked with.

The striker played under Pochettino from January 2013 – May 2014, before they both left the club.

Pochettino took the Tottenham Hotspur job, with Saints icon Lambert signing for boyhood side Liverpool.

Speaking to the official Southampton FC website, Lambert said: “I had three excellent managers. The three best managers I had in my career were the ones at Southampton, but the best one was Mauricio Pochettino.

“He was just brilliant, everything about him. On the pitch, technically, he had a different way to look at it, and learning from him was one of the best things I’ve ever done in football.

“Off the pitch, he really cared about you as well – every single person in the club, from the players to the staff. He really made everyone feel special.”

Over a five-year spell, Lambert played over 230 games for Saints, scoring 117 goals.

He played a crucial role in securing the club back-to-back promotions from League One into the Premier League, as well as winning the Football League Trophy in 2010.

Despite his lofty achievements in a Saints shirt, the former England international said his best feeling came off the bench on his Premier League debut.

He added: “Scoring the goal against Man City and running to the crowd, without a doubt.

“I was so angry to be on the bench because I was so looking forward to playing in the Premier League – it meant so much to me over a build-up of ten years.

“To finally explode in one moment, run to the crowd and celebrate with my teammates was absolutely incredible.

“That beats the promotion to the Premier League, which would be second. There were a lot of people who doubted me in the Championship, let alone the Premier League, and didn’t think I would score.

“I was desperate to prove people wrong, so there were so many feelings going through me at that moment.”