TALKING POINTS: Koeman's pre-Liverpool press conference

By SFC Media time Sat 21 Feb Club

Ronald Koeman spoke to the media on Friday at the Markus Liebherr Pavilion ahead of Southampton's game against Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League.

Here's what the Southampton manager had to say:

On worrying about Liverpool closing the gap…

You think I am thinking about losing a game. No way. I am thinking of winning the game, I am not negative thinking. I’m surprised Liverpool have four points less than we have and to come closer they have to win. If they don’t, they don’t come closer.

RON IN 60 SECONDS: @RonaldKoeman on the visit of @LFC, former Saints and fit-again players returning. #saintsfc

— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 21, 2015

On replacing good players in the summer…

I think we did a great job to replace those good players with other good players and one of the qualities of our team is we only received 17 goals.

That is a very good record until now and we would like to keep that because if we do have those kind of numbers we will have a good chance of a high position in the table.

On team news ahead of Sunday…

I have positive news because Shane Long and Morgan Schneiderlin did a normal session. We have to wait for the reaction for the Sunday game but I am very positive that both players can be part of the Sunday squad.

On Jay Rodriguez…

It’s a long way now for Jay and if it happens in March we are very happy. If it happens in April we will see but at the moment not, because he needs more time.

I hope that Jay can play some games in this season but it’s all about the freshness and the shape of the player. We won’t take any risk because the player is too good to take that risk.

On struggling to break teams down…

It’s all about teams. I don’t expect Liverpool this Sunday to come in that way but we have to know that Swansea and Wet Ham didn’t come to Southampton to play open and offensive.

This Sunday’s game is totally different but it’s all about the sharpness in the box, all about possibilities. It’s normal that strikers like Graziano Pellè and Dušan Tadić are not always on the highest level, but we didn’t have really other players to change.

I believe in the qualities of the players and I think it’s a good time to score goals and create opportunities than in the last games.

On Liverpool changing compared to the first game of the season…

They play with a different system, a 3-4-3 system and coming back are players from injury like Sturridge and Sterling, but Liverpool is always a good, strong squad.

We played a very good game because everyone was afraid about Southampton. It was the first game of the season. We played well and deserved a better result than the 2-1 that we lost. 

Sunday is a different game but it’s a nice one for us and I look forward to a big game. 

On when the pressure starts to come…

Maybe four, five games left when it’s more clear about the situation. But we still have to play 13 games and a lot can happen. Sunday is important, because it’s the first opponent that we can have a lot of distance in points.

On Liverpool’s system being rare in England…

I think the manager made a good decision because after that they have good results. It’s not about the country, it’s all about whether you can play that system with the players you have.

We have players to play that system, but I prefer to play 4-3-3 but sometimes it depends on the situation of the team, the confidence of the team. Or it depends on the opponent – you can change that.

On Graziano Pellè…

He’s a clever guy and knows what has happened. You are not always on your best shape in football, and you have to work hard. Sometimes he has difficulties in his body language, but that’s no problem because he likes to show his quality, he likes to score.

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