Ronald Koeman spoke to the media ahead of Southampton’s game against Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League.
Here’s what he had to say:
On the expectation of going and getting a result…
No, it is still difficult. I don’t have a different feeling from last year because we know in the Premier League that there is no big difference. When you look to the table there is not a big difference between points and positions.
If you win one time I think you get six or seven places more up the table. If you lose, you can be playing for relegation. That’s the Premier League. It’s not a normal position for Chelsea.
Maybe they have been a bit unluckier than last year. Porto did a good job and maybe had more chances in the second half after the 2-1. You talk about details and I was surprised that they conceded more goals than you expect from Chelsea.
We’ll still have to be very good with a high level in all the aspects of football to get a good result.
On what his side need to improve…
I think we have to improve in our ball possession, in our defensive organisation. That’s what we talked about in the first weeks of the season.
We made a lot of changes in one season, more than one year and out of those six or seven positions we now have four or five different players. That needs time and players need to adapt to the Premier League.
We play better than we were at the beginning of the season. We play better and have more confidence. In the last two weeks we showed we are a clinical team. That’s good to see that the team is doing well.
On Chelsea’s current situation…
Maybe it is hard for them because it isn’t a normal situation for Chelsea, but as a manager you are always doing the best for the team and they have enough good players and qualities.
They know they need a good result and sometimes that’s the most important time in football.
On José Mourinho…
You know when you’re a manager of a big team; if you don’t win there will always be critics. That’s normal. The best you can do is to keep concentration to your team and your players to change the situation.
To change the situation is to win games and that’s the only solution as a coach.
On Virgil van Dijk settling in quickly…
I’m not surprised because we follow already the player for more than two years when he signed for Celtic. We tried to do everything last year to bring Virgil already in the club and there was no possibility and then this season yes.
I look forward for him for the game because I think he played on a high level against West Brom and he played on a high level against Swansea.
Man United he was a little bit nervous maybe and showing on the highest level against a big team, but he’s still 24. He can still develop himself and I’m very happy he’s part of our team.