Ronald Koeman says his players will handle the pressure of what he says will be a “great game” against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Spurs, under the guidance of former Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino, head to St Mary’s sitting one point and one place above Koeman’s side in the Barclays Premier League table.
With just five games left of the campaign, Saturday’s clash could have a big say in who finishes highest in the table and Koeman is well aware of the importance of the fixture for a number of reasons.
“It’s a massive, massive game,” Koeman told youtube.com/southamptonfc. “We know our position in the table, they have one more point than we have.
“Okay we focus on ourselves about the football way. For sure the fans also think about Mauricio coming back, but we focus about football. We like and we have to win the game because we like to play in Europe next season.
“(Mauricio coming back) doesn’t have an effect because we know Tottenham very well, they know us very well. It’s no influence in anything for our preparation.
“We know the pressure because when you play in the Premier League you always have that kind of pressure. It’s a massive game to play.
“We have to be ourselves and play what we can do and how we play. We know the opponent and the individual qualities of them, it will be a great game.”
Koeman however doesn’t think the winner of the game will definitely finish above the other come the end of the campaign, highlighting the unpredictability of the Premier League.
But he says his players are fully focused, and know how much Saturday’s game will mean to the club’s supporters.
“It’s only one game and after there is still four games to play and we know anything can happen.” Koeman added, “It’s not only about this Saturday it’s about every weekend.
“The players know the position. The players know it’s a massive game. What it means for the supporters this Saturday. They are really focused in a good way for the game.”