TALKING POINTS: Koeman's pre-West Brom press conference

By SFC Media time Thu 26 Feb Club

Ronald Koeman spoke to the media at the Markus Liebherr Pavilion on Thursday ahead of Southampton's game against West Bromwich Albion in the Barclays Premier League.

Here's what the manager had to say:

On what has been done to freshen things up in attack…

I try to put good exercises in the training sessions, to give and to mention and to talk with them about options, movements and trying to be in positions to score goals.

We’re doing more finishing in training sessions, doing different movements and trying to give them that confidence, which is important to be good in a game.

You can’t do everything. It’s up to the player and the rest of the players to create the movements and the chances in the game. Of course we have maybe a little bit more struggling in scoring, but I still think we are creating good chances in all the games.

They need a goal for their confidence, but as a manager you try to speak about that and to do sessions for giving them that confidence.

On the lack of goals being on their minds…

I think it’s a little bit different now. I watched back the game of Liverpool, and most of the time Liverpool was not defending with three centre-backs, they were defending with five at the back. That’s more difficult.

Teams now are playing not so open, they know our qualities and this Saturday will be exactly the same. They go back, they are defending and they wait for one or two good counter attack movements to score and to try to score about set-pieces.

You have to be more patient, you have to wait, to really understand that in the last pass you really need to focus, the confidence to play the right ball, and if you get a chance, sometimes we try to do it in a nice way. No, it’s not about how you score, it’s about the ball needs to go in.

On Graziano Pellè…

He’s important in our ball possession, because he’s always the target man and people around him have their movements and, of course, it’s not a typical number nine who is at the end of the season scoring goals and nothing else.

He’s an important player for our ball possession in the team. Okay, still he’s doing well in that, but, of course, every striker looks to score goals.

On Sadio Mané playing through the middle…

That’s a possibility because he’s very fast. Maybe away we play a little bit more with space than we play at home, maybe a little bit about the last few results at home that it’s a little bit in our mind to win the game.

Away we are more quiet, maybe sometimes we take more time to build up, to have ball possession and really to wait for the good moments to have good space to play and, of course, then Sadio is a good player for that.

On Morgan Schneiderlin…

We have now more options to play and to do, or to change something.

RON IN 60 SECONDS: @RonaldKoeman on @AlderweireldTob, @WBAFCofficial and #SaintsFC's top-four chances.

— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) February 26, 2015

On the big clubs coming to the fore…

It’s always a challenge to keep that in the team and that’s the reason what I said that, in the next two games, we play a lot of our chances to keep going up in the table.

To really stay close to them, that’s in the next two games. If you win two games you will be again in that position. If not, it will be maybe with a distance and then your possibilities are less than two weeks ago.

On getting in to Europe…

If we can play European football, I’m very happy. Of course, you know that the next season will be a very tough one, because you play a lot more games during the week.

But Southampton never really play in Europe, only a long time ago. Maybe it’s not really a title, but it will be a big prize for us to reach that and we will do everything.

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