TALKING POINTS: Koeman’s post-Arsenal press conference

By SFC Media time Thu 01 Jan Men's First team

Ronald Koeman spoke to the media after Southampton beat Arsenal 2-0 at St Mary’s on New Year’s Day in the Barclays Premier League.

Here’s what he had to say…

On whether he enjoyed the game…

Yes very much. It was a fantastic performance from the team out of good organisation. I think the game was in the first half balanced. A great goal from Sadio [Mané], and after that Arsenal had to take maybe a little bit more risk.

After the second goal, we had to kill the game because we had a lot of good chances to score the third goal and kill the game. Fraser [Forster] had one or two great saves at 2-0 from Sanchez, and that means a fantastic team performance against Arsenal.

If you make as a manager some little critics to your players after the game that we had to score more goals, it’s a little bit a strange feeling. It’s nice to start the New Year like this and we enjoy.

On Sadio Mané and his injury…

It was difficult because I was expecting a cross maybe to Graziano [Pellè] in the box and he took the risk to try to score with his left. Maybe it was a little bit the wind that made it difficult for [Per]  Mertesacker to take out that ball in the goal, but a great goal.

I think the team was more comfortable in the game and that was important. I don’t know what happened with the injury. After his first moment, he continued the game but he had too many problems, too much pain and we had to change him.

On seeing his side remain in the top four…

This result shows that we can beat a big team like Arsenal is and I think important was the draw against Chelsea because after that the players had the belief to win something in a big game like Chelsea was.

Today we did less mistakes than what we did against City and United and that’s the big difference – if you are doing mistakes in your ball possession then they will punish you. That means the whole team organisation on this level against big teams we are learning.

On his side’s chances of staying in the top four…

What I said before, I don’t say now after this victory we have more possibilities to stay high in the table but I believe before this game as well and the team showed that. We had a fantastic run in the beginning, then we lost five times.

We didn’t make parties, or troubles after five defeats, we kept it and you need a win to have the confidence to play good football. Now the message to the players is every game you have to be prepared because every game is difficult.

On Maya Yoshida leaving for the 2015 Asian Cup…

He is ready for the Asian Cup. He is now a little bit fresher than he was after one hour against Chelsea and he’s ready to play for Japan. I spoke to Maya about the situation and we spoke about staying until the Arsenal game.

He is ready physically to play and we have to accept we lose different players to tournaments during the season.

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