TALKING POINTS: Koeman’s post-Chelsea press conference

By SFC Media time Mon 29 Dec Men's First team

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman spoke to the media shortly after watching his side draw 1-1 with Chelsea at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Here’s what the Saints boss had to say:

On whether he was pleased with a point…

Of course, one point against Chelsea is maybe three points against another opponent. I am proud of the players, the organisation in the team, the spirit in the team. We knew it would be very difficult but the boys did it fantastic.

We passed some difficult moments in the game. We were a little bit disappointed at half-time because we conceded before, but we stayed organised in the team and got a little bit of luck that you need against good teams to get a result.

On the late red card to Morgan Schneiderlin…

You know you have to do everything with ten players and the second game for everybody in 48 hours. We fight until the last second and that was the key to be successful today.

On Sadio Mané impressing in his new position in the team…

He’s feeling comfortable in that position behind Graziano Pellè. I think he has a little bit more freedom to make his movement. He’s very fast and two typical Mané goals how he scored against Chelsea and Crystal Palace.

Still he has to play in the Africa Cup of Nations, but I am happy about the performance. The player is playing better and with more confidence than he had in the beginning.

On going to a back four against Chelsea…

We didn’t have Ryan Bertrand, we didn’t have Nathaniel Clyne and players make a system. That was the reason to change that and I think the key was that we had enough players in the midfield to have the organisation you need to play against Chelsea.

They are fantastic and players like Hazard and Fabregas, in a split second they can change the game and that was as well one of the reasons to change the system.

On Maya Yoshida’s performance at right-back…

I am very satisfied about Maya. He was very tired in the second half, he had a yellow card and it’s so difficult to play and have a good defence against players like Hazard.

I had to change him on that moment but he’s back in the team, playing well and he will stay for the Arsenal game and then he can go and play for Japan.

On the start to the season Saints have made…

I think we can be very happy about the position we have in the table. I think we have played good football and the fans love it how we play.

We have great support from our fans. We had a difficult time for a few weeks but the spirit is back, the confidence is back. Of course, teams like City and Chelsea it is so difficult to play against them. You can’t make any mistakes and that’s difficult.

Even when you don’t make mistakes they can punish you because those kind of players with that kind of quality is very difficult. We are now half of the season in and we learn from mistakes that we did.

If we keep going like this then we can fight for a high position in the table.

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