TALKING POINTS: Koeman's pre-Man City press conference

By SFC Media time Sat 29 Nov Men's First team

Saints boss Ronald Koeman spoke to the media ahead of his side's game against Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League at St Mary's on Sunday.

Here's a number of issues that Koeman discussed at his media briefing on Friday:

On the mentality differences between Saints and Man City…

It’s difficult because they have that experience and we don’t have that experience. We have experience in the Premier League but we don’t have the experience that you play every three days on a high level.

They are always under pressure in the Champions League and the Premier League and fight for the title and if they slow they have critics and they are used to that. The coach is very experienced and it is not a problem.

On Saints having three big games in the space of eight days…

You can’t plan in football. If there are two days between the first and the second game there is no problem. Of course, if you play three games in one week then we will not take a big risk with some players who are not 100 per cent because you prefer they are good for the next game.

We prepared ourselves for Sunday and then we work to Arsenal and after Wednesday we think about [Manchester] United but nothing else.

The schedule is made and we know from the beginning of the season our programme and we know we have a tough December month but for everybody. It will be good if we don’t have injuries because it would be more easy.

On whether the squad is strong enough to win all three games…

I feel happy and not afraid for this week. I am positive and I know that we have a strong team and that we can beat everyone in the Premier League.

We have to show it, and it’s football, you never know. You have to prepare yourselves, to keep your way of playing and don’t change if the opponent is [Manchester] City.

The squad is strong enough but if you have a big problem with injuries and a lot of players out then it will be difficult because then we know we don’t have the qualities that the big teams do in the squad.

We have young players, still not on the level and need experience. We know that.

On whether his team having anything to prove against Manchester City…

We are growing up because everybody was a little bit disappointed after last Monday and that says a lot because it’s not a bad result a draw away against Aston Villa. But we had a little bit of feeling it was not good enough.

That’s a good quality to realise that and that means a lot, but it’s nice to show the qualities and it’s always more attention if you play City at home than another team.

On the 26 points Saints have gained already in the Premier League…

We know that we have a lot of points already, we know that. It’s a good feeling because then you will be not under pressure.

We put our pressure because we think that we can do better than last season. That’s the target in my opinion and we will see if we reach that.

On Saints duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Graziano Pellè being on four bookings…

Schneiderlin is a player who likes to press, who likes winning battles in midfield and that’s sometimes part of the job. What I don’t agree if they count all the yellow cards – in the League Cup and later in the FA Cup, and with five you are suspended.

It’s a different competition. If you are out of the League Cup or FA Cup it’s not the same because you play the same and have less risk of yellow cards.

But I say don’t make stupid fouls, don’t take your shirt off if you score. If it’s a fault that benefits the team then OK, I have to accept, no problem. But don’t make stupid fouls, you have to be clever in those situations.

On how his side are no longer an unknown quantity…

Of course. If you saw how Villa played it was not very offensive, it was defending. Okay, if they think that’s the best way. It was a draw.

Opponents watching Southampton know now more than after the first game the qualities of Southampton and that’s normal. We like to do the same and we have to do the same.

They respect and they know the qualities and maybe they are more prepared than Liverpool was in the first game of the season.

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